Friday, December 9, 2016

review - GOOD 'N' PLENTY - Mesa Community College

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through December 10th.

"...In Jeffrey Hatcher's comedy Good 'N' Plenty, ...Richard Miller..attempts to teach democracy to his students via a game based on real-life drug dealing. The end result of his game is hilarious just as is the Mesa Community College Theatre and Film Arts very fun production of this satirical comedy.
.....By having his students play a game in which they play drug dealers, buyers, cops, narcs and lawyers, using Good & Plenty candy instead of drugs that they buy with Monopoly money, Miller figures it would be the perfect way to teach the kids about democracy and the criminal justice system. Drugs in a high school? What could possibly go wrong? Hatcher's script is well written with some very funny bits and even funnier characters. It's a humorous political satire...Director Ron May keeps the frenzy at a fever pitch with an incredibly gifted cast of students, with all but one of the talented group playing multiple parts with skill and a sometimes split second change from one character to the next with expert precision.As Miller, Ryan Marcham is energetic and engaging. ...Zach Fagan and Dolores Mendoza play several teachers and faculty members. Fagan is a hoot as the principal and a couple of very different teachers while Mendoza is exceptional as Miller's arch nemesis Dunlope...has a rich sweetness beneath the character's bitter exterior... Hatcher's script features characters for each actor to play that are almost complete opposites of each other and the MCC cast has a lot of fun in playing these very different students. Samantha Hanna is exceptional as Cindy Hlivko, the manipulating student who will do anything to nudge out her rival for valedictorian, as well as an exchange student from Bulgarian who learned English from pop songs and only speaks in song lyrics. Tom J. McCoy plays both the class jock and class nerd with adept dexterity while Brittney Watson's take on the class sexpot is as excellent as her portrayal of the needy class clown. Anthony Muldrow plays the school's two black students, one of whom is in a tie with Cindy for valedictorian and who plays a drug dealer in the class game, and the other black student who is an actual drug dealer. Steven May is a hoot as a pair of twin brothers. Under May's expert guidance the cast delivers portrayals that aren't just pitch perfect representations of these high school archetypes but are also utterly hilarious. There isn't a weak link in this gifted cast....Good 'N' Plenty is a sharp political satire. MCC's production lets us laugh at the past and examine our system of government with a sensational cast and expert direction that provide a very humorous look back at the 1970s and a fun, zany twist on the madness of high school." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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