Monday, May 12, 2014

The Drama Workshop Presents Suite Surrender

If having an evening of laughter sounds good to you, look for a production of Suite Surrender.  The Drama Workshop at the Glenmore Playhouse in Cheviot, Ohio will presenting the play one more weekend, May 16, 17, and 18.   You can see by the set that the play involves a lot of running in and out of various doors.

Michael McKeever's play, Suite Surrender, does a good job of capturing the spirit of the farces that entertained the friends, relatives, and acquaintances of the GIs of World War II.  There is a lot of nonsense, but behind all of it, there is a sense of never forgetting about those fighting the war overseas.  In fact, the play's premise is that two big stars who hate one another are performing to generate money for the war effort.

Those big stars, Athena Sinclair (Stephanie Adams) and Claudia McFadden (Lynn Minges) have their larger individually framed photos to the left and the right of the photos of the rest of the cast and crew.

Stefanie Adams as Athena Sinclair

Lynn Minges as Claudia McFadden)

Life is never simple.  Poor Bernard (Dennis Murphy) the manager of the Palm Beach Royale Hotel, not only has two big stars to keep happy, but also Mrs. Osgood (Gretchen Gantner), who wants to see that a group of sailors on leave have the time of their lives.  Like Athena Sinclair and Lynn Minges, Mrs. Osgood is accustomed to having her way.

Unlike many plays in which the first act moves a bit slowly because the groundwork is being laid for the second act, this first act moves quickly and keeps the audience involved.  I was surprised when the lights came on for intermission.

Among the  refreshments were  some  suggested by Evie, who played Mr. Boodles, Claudia McFadden's dog.

There were Mr. Boodles cupcakes...

And kibble. (There were also sugar cookie dog bones.)

The second act moved as fast as the first and there were as many laughs as in the first act.  It is hard to pick  a favorite line.  I talked to my son yesterday.  He said that during one performance the audience's laughter actually stopped the show for a brief moment.  "But", he said, "the show must go on and it did."

The entire cast meshed well.  The cast not already mentioned includes Chuck Beatty as Pippet, Julia Hedges as Murphy, Dan Maloney as Francis, Robin Rubeo as Dora Del Rio, and Joe Wagner as Otis.

I didn't stay long after the show but I did stay long enough to meet Evie being comfortably held above all the dangerous feet by Carol Stone Smith.  Evie is clearly a diva.

Gretchen Gantner, Mrs. Osgood, changed quickly so we chatted a few minutes, also.

The theater now has very comfortable seats, seats that the University of Dayton no longer needed because they put new ones in Boll Theater.  The Drama Workshop members spent lots of hour getting them ready for this production.

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