Saturday, August 24, 2019

reviews - GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER - Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Justin Hosten and Rachael Kaplan
photo courtesy Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
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 September 28.

"You'd think that in the last 50 years we would have made some major progress as a country when it comes to race relations. Yet, seeing the stage adaptation of the 1967 film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner showed me that while much has changed in our society since the film premiered, there are still many things unresolved in a country where racially charged language, tweets and attacks are the daily norm. The play, like the film, focuses on what happens when the daughter of a white progressive family surprises her parents by bringing home her fiancĂ©, who is a black man. To say her liberal parents aren't exactly on board with the idea would be an understatement. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre presents a perfectly cast and beautifully directed production of this still timely, thought-provoking story....Director Cheryl Schaar...and cast instill the characters with small details, pertinent glances, well timed gestures, and silent looks that bring the script and characters vibrantly to life. ...As Matt and Christina, Lee Cooley and Toni Kallen...expertly navigate their way through these very changing characters and create beautiful and realistic portrayals. Rachael Kaplan infuses Joanna with determination and optimism. ...As John, Justin Hosten does a great job in depicting the wisest member of the group, a very intelligent man who is a realist and understands exactly what he and Joanna are up against... While it's fairly clear from the beginning of the piece that love will prevail, there is enough insight, humor and heart in this wonderful production of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner to provoke conversations long after the play is over." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...In the context of today's racial turmoil and efforts to reverse decades of civil rights progress, one might posit that the original story line about an interracial couple wanting to wed is dated..configuring it for the stage, (Todd) Kreidler has given today's audiences substantive food for thought and reflection about the limited extent to which true progress has been made in redressing grievances, bridging the cultural gap, and washing away the nation's original sin...Director Cheryl Schaar does a yeoman's job in interpreting the playwright's intention, assembling an outstanding cast, and creating a well-paced and engaging production...For a thoroughly well-directed and well-acted play with gravitas and wit, this show rates a must-see." - Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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