Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Our Town"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2002 by Eric Stein

"The Best Kept Secret in Town"

"Our Town"

Reviewed by Eric Stein
Independent Theater Critic

The Cohasset Dramatic Club's production of Our Town by Thornton Wilder was the most delightful show I have seen all year. I was quite impressed by the energy and aptitude of the Community theater troupe. When Mr. Wilder set out to be a playwright he had no intentions of becoming one of the greatest American playwrights of all time. All Mr. Wilder wanted was to return some purity to the theater of his time. Five minutes into CDC's production it was evident that this is what the group strived for.

The actors were of higher caliber than your average community theater, with many professional productions between the leads. Dick Sherrell, as the Stage Manager, was kind and forthcoming with all the information needed. Mr. Sherrell's voice painted intimate pictures of Grover's Corners with such detail I knew exactly where everything was. Melissa Paradice's Emily Webb owned the show from the first moment she stood own stage. Her delightful voice matched the great depth, which she needed to take the audience; I for one hung on every word. Jessica MacDonald and Rich Jensen, as Mrs. Gibbs and Mr. Webb gave the production a sense of firm sincerity that matched their part to the "T". Dr. Gibbs was a cornerstone of this production giving his wisdom and ambition to the cast. Mike Cox played Dr. Gibbs. Joe Rota, as the bitter Simon Stimson, was certainly a showstopper.

The unsung heroes of this production were the great ensemble acting. Whether at Choir practice, delivering milk, going to the wedding or funeral or simply being dead the cast was crisp throughout the entire 2 hours, 15 minutes.

George Gibbs, which was played by Joey Sullivan, was acted superbly; from laughter to crying this actor can handle all emotions strongly. Now, if Ms. Paradice owned the stage, Mr. Sullivan certainly tried to steal it away every inch of the way. The chemistry between these two young stars was absolutely electric. They handle their scenes poignantly and with great emotion. At one moment in the Second act the entire played stood still as every eye waited for the response to George's "Would you be --- I mean, Could you be?"
Finally when Emily's response came "I always have been", the entire audience, including myself, beamed with glee. I see a bright future for these two blooming talents. Our Town is admirably helmed by veteran director Eric Henderson, with lighting by Tom Finnegan, sets by the Club and Music Direction by Virginia Mohr.

The most tragic part of this production was the tiny audience sizes. Due to lack of funding which leads to poor advertisement there was a total of 80 people during for all three shows the first weekend of the run. I highly suggest this show is not only worth the $10 admission, but you might even walk out feeling like you cheated these actors. Our Town plays Cohasset Town Hall March 8,9,15 & 16 at 8PM and March 9 at 2PM. For tickets or information call 781-585-9158.

"Our Town" ((till 16 March)
Cohasset Town Hall, COHASSETT MASS
1 (781)585-9158

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide