Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Man Who Came to Dinner
Town Hall Arts Center: 2/19 – 3/20

     L-R: Martha Harmon-Pardee, Eric Fry and Taylor Nicole Young (photo credit:Gary Duff)

     Playwrights Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s “The Man Who Came to Dinner” was first produced in 1939. It’s a 3-Act comedy that is now the most produced American play in history.

     In Town Hall Arts’ production Eric Fry portrays Sheridan Whiteside, the outspoken and offensive show-business commentator and radio wit, who has slipped on a piece of ice outside the home to which he’s been invited to dinner. Throughout the play Whiteside insults and humiliates the owners of this home, in which he is now receiving medical treatment for a hip complaint.
   Fry does a great job spewing the requisite vitriol. Nevertheless…one might have wished for a tad more self-adulating ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humor from this celebrity wit.
     Martha Harmon Pardee’s portrayal of glamorous Hollywood Actress Lorrain Sheldon is sheer theatre ice cream! Harmon Pardee has never been this outrageously funny. Her performance will leave you breathless!
     As Daisy Stanley, the lady of the house Whiteside has thrown into chaos, Leslie Randle presents a civility thinly veiling a desire to kill that has remarkable naturalness.
     LuAnn Buckstein is hilarious as Miss Preen, the longsuffering nurse, who’s the constant butt of Whiteside’s verbal abuse. We have to wait a long time for her rebuttal, but it’s worth the wait because when it comes Buckstein bristles with comic brio.
     Seth Maisel gives us a frenetically funny performance of Banjo. Based upon the actor, Harpo Marx, one might have wished that they’d have found him a curly blonde wig.
      Taylor Nicole Young does an admirable job as Whiteside’s secretary, Maggie Cutler.
     Michael Duran's scenic design is one of this season's best and Seth Alison’s lighting design is masterful.
     The costumes created by Linda Morken, especially those for Martha Harmon Pardee, are spot on!
     It’s a longgg evening of theatre and director Bob Wells makes sure that there are lots of laughs.

Town Hall Arts Center is located at 2450 W. Main St. in Littleton, Colorado. For tickets go online at www.TownHallArts.org or call the box office at 303-794-2787.

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