To finish! A live theatrical performance. The last normal game review we wrote was on March 12, 2020. Thanks to all the fans of live theater and those who participate and make it happen.
Some of our grandchildren grew up attending the pantos (pantomimes) held at CenterStage and we also introduced our friends to the outstanding productions and wonderful settings along Dumas Bay in Federal Way.
The set was excellent thanks to set designer Burten Yuen, lighting designer Aaron Mohs-Hale, stage artist Tori Dewar, and construction by Ted Gentry. Along with Peg and I, my cousin Lavinia Hart taught directing and drama at Wayne State University in Detroit. We told him about the previous sets and how they set the stage for each piece. This set was perfect for a trip to radio days.
“The show centers on a group of people whom we recognize in our time as part of“ the greater generation. ”They innovated, worked hard and made many sacrifices, all during the global crisis of a world war It seems easier than ever to identify with Clifton, William, Buzz, Sally, Cholly, Margie, Jackie, Judith, Fritz and Toots (and not just because three of our actors served in the military). were just trying to put on a good show in the midst of everyone – and so were we. ”Deanna Martinez, Director of Radio Christmas Carol from the 1940s
The costume designer, Renae Ragudo, was perfect in her selections. The costumes were perfect and contained and maintained the 1940s flavor. Sally, played by Jessie Selleck, looked perfect in her iconic “Rosie the Riveter” stand up. Judith, played by Sonia Alexis, could have fit into any decade with her blouse and pants on, but her hairstyle was screaming in WWII days. Cholly, played by Chap Wolff, looked perfect in her white shirt and suspenders. Buzz, played by Tony L. Williams, in his gray cardigan, looked comfortable and fit.
The production was a mixture of shtick, vocals, commercials. . . “LSMFT, Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco” and lots of humor. All that was missing was a bit of saliva, and they got so close. . . Erika Kern had a beautiful voice and sounded like Margie. Chap Wolff has a lovely voice and used it well for a slight religious take. Fritz, played by Detective Radio’s featured guest Scott Mattsen, did a great fake ad lib when Scrooge got out of the way.
As Clifton, Mayhem announcer and radio director Brad Cerenzia has been very successful at holding and centering his crew’s wild abandon and delivering the thought-provoking news of the war.
Deanna Martinez did a good juggle between achieving and maintaining the edge required for this production for over nine months as timelines shifted and shifted via COVID restrictions. Addison Daniels was ideal both for playing the piano and for directing singers. Brad Cerenzia has entertained us with the pantos before and did a fantastic job as Max in “The Producers” at Lakewood Playhouse. I think Peg and I saw this production three nights in a row. Dale Bowers did a great job as William St. Clair playing the role of Scrooge as well as his roles in eight previous pantos. Jared McKell has done really well with his shy Jackie and Tiny Tim. It was nice to see Jessie Selleck come out of her panto roles. Also, it was good to see Tony L. Williams outside of Lakewood Playhouse. He was just one of three to have played at the Lakewood Playhouse. We like to see and recognize different actors in different theaters. This is what makes theaters from Olympia to North Seattle and beyond fun.
Buy your tickets here – centrestagetheatre.com/tickets-2/
The next production (from August 27 to September 19) will be “The Importance of Being Serious”. Thank you, County King
For updates on screening production visit here – centerstagetheatre.com/virtual-performances/