Monday, May 15, 2017

review - MY MAN GODFREY - Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Tessa Geelhood and Van Rockwell
photo by Gary Caswell
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 June 24th.

".The 1936 Oscar-nominated film My Man Godfrey ...Don Bluth Front Row Theatre is currently presenting a very fun production of the screwball comedy. Even though the story is set during the Great Depression and it features plenty of humor, its serious social themes still resonate today.
In New York City, socialite sisters Irene and Cornelia Bullock are on the hunt for a "forgotten man" as the last item they need to win a charity scavenger hunt. At the city dump they find a homeless man called Godfrey living in a packing crate. ..he is taken by the kindness of Irene and offers to go with her. Irene is impressed by Godfrey's soft-spoken sensitivity and hires him as the family's new butler. Over the course of the play, Godfrey's presence causes the eccentric, high-spirited and flighty family to realize their shortcomings and change their behavior for the better while a few secrets of Godfrey's past, including how he came to be homeless, are revealed. The play focuses on the differences between the wealthy and the poor but also shows how life events can force anyone to become down on their luck or penniless. Since it's a comedy, it doesn't dive too deep into the differences between those living in poverty and high society types, instead making the poor be more of a fascination for the wealthy Bullock family. ..Director Gary Caswell has assembled a fairly talented cast who deliver appropriately exaggerated performances of these mostly lovable characters. At the center of the action, and holding his feet firmly to the ground as the swirling activity of craziness happens around him, Van Rockwell is expertly even measured, level headed, soft spoken and sharp as Godfrey. ..
The foursome who make up the Bullock family, Tessa Geelhood and Lauren Scoville as the sisters and Janis Webb and Frank Aaron as the parents, all deliver bright and vibrant portrayals....Amie Bjorklund is a complete joy as the world-weary, smart-talking, wise-cracking, no-nonsense family maid Molly...Caswell's direction elicits fine performances from the cast without them being too broad, goofy, unfocused or over the top. ..Corinne Hawkins' costumes provide a non-stop parade of smashing period-perfect gowns and tuxes....With a fun cast and smart, creative elements, Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's production proves that not only is this story still relevant but it's also still a pretty funny comedy as well. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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