Monday, January 29, 2018

"So Bea It' Draws Full House

An appreciative and enthusiastic crowd completely filled the Hubbard Room at Russell Library for a presentation of an original play by Carolyn Kirsch, performed by the Vintage Players on Sunday afternoon.

The play tells the story of Willie Fletcher (played by Billy Johnstone) and the eccentric aunt who raised him, Bea Fletcher (Kirsch).

The story artfully tells their story, set in contemporary Hoboken. Willie and the audience witness the weirdness of the aunt with varying degrees of mystification and annoyance. But as the story develops, the audience learns that there is a method to madness of the aunt, all of which is to the benefit of Willie.

In a few remarks introducing the play, Kirsch said that much of the dialogue was written for the actors who played each part.Kirsch has written an engaging play that should be widely seen.

She was also wonderful as the eccentric aunt. She first showed us just a crazy old woman, and then slowly and seamlessly revealed that there was a caring and thoughtful method behind her madness.

Johnstone did well in many scenes, but he did not create as sympathetic a character.

Jane McMillan was masterful as the blunt and outspoken Mrs. Elaine Dalrymple, a lawyer who enjoyed the legal challenges posed by the eccentric Aunt. Richard Kamins had the audience in guffaws as René de Parlez Beaucoup, a faux French waiter with too much to say about wine. Linda Kaskel was a convincing romantic interest for Willie Fletcher, and Emma Kaskel showed great poise on stage as her daughter.

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