I was 12 years old when my middle-aged parents bought twin beds. I thought that was the end of their marriage. They were married 57 years. Watching Robert Anderson’s The Footsteps of Doves under Mark Loveless’s direction brought back those ancient memories. Middle-aged couple Harriet and George Porter (Pamela Fadden and Mark Loveless) are shopping for a new mattress. Two singles or one regular . . . dimensions are important, their marriage is at risk . . . what will the outcome be?
Like every mattress store I’ve ever been in, there the two prices on each and each always has a “sale” price. Enter the hyper salesman (Michael David Grulli) with his standard pitch. Finally, George wanders out of view and Harriet explores head and foot boards.
Enter Jill Hammond (Angie Doren), young, attractive, and recently divorced. She is luxuriating on the larger mattress. Poor brow-beaten George wanders back into the mattress section. What transpires has got to be sceen. Leave it that George has a new lease on life. The joys of middle-age fantasies.
The Memory Book starring Jonathan Dunn-Rankin and Timothy Carr as aging John and Joseph was insightfully written by Jack Dyville with DJ Sullivan directing. Two classic and classy actors in a memorable piece with a surprise ending . . . in a not-to-be missed play.
Loretta Haas performed Row, Row, Row, in verse, and Anna Mae/McDonalds under Ron Ray’s direction. In the first, appearing in period costume complete with boa, she gave us an inspired rendition. In the later, a delightful spoof of a certain fast food chain, she was a very western woman with an extremely strange tale.
Michael Dean Grulli, as a cowboy type-Rico, returns with Diego Parada, as Raul, a job hunter in Terence Burke’s Taxco Mixto, directed by Nanci Hunter. Rico is loaded with big ideas and no common sense. Raul has some good ideas, common sense, and a lack of funds. What transpires is delightful repartee between two accomplished actors. The end speech, which is in Spanish, is fortunate translated by the director for us mono-linguals
Ending the evening is Ed and Ruth Eigner as Herbert and Muriel in Robert Anderson’s totally outrageous I’m Herbert. Mark Loveless directs. Herbert and Muriel, both in their third (if I counted right) marriage, getting up in years, have a wee problem with memory, names, dates, places . . . well, you get the story. As one who does forget names, I felt compassion with the two. Of course, forgetting the name of your spouse is a bit much. I guarantee that the audience did not forget for a moment to laugh.
Thus opens Lamplighters Community Theatre’s Summerfest 2008. Six short plays sure to amuse, amaze, and astound the audience. There is a good variety from the serious, to the silly, to the romantic. I hope you have an opportunity to see this festival. There is also Fritz Blitz’s last year, and the upcoming short play festival at North Park Vaudeville. Sadly, we’ve lost Actor’s Alliance’s short play festival; but, hopefully, the New Perspective Festival will be repeated next year. For those that love a beginning, middle, and ending in 15-minutes or less, short plays are a must. See you at the theatre.
Summerfest 2008 is being performed at the La Mesa Women’s Club at 5220 Wilson Street in La Mesa. For information and reservations call the Box Office at 619 469-6433 or email them at www.lamplighterstheatre.orge.
See individual reviews.
Producers Mark Loveless & Judy Hughes, SM Mona Allen, Lighting Design Paul Erickson, Sound Design Mark Loveless, Gerry Reeves, & Cast, Techs Paul Ericson & Rick Nelesen
Genre: See individual reviews.
Author: See individual reviews.
Director: See individual reviews.
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2008
Dates: Aug 15-17, 22, 24, 2008
Running Time: 94 minutes with a 15-minute intermission
Lamplighters Community Theatre
La Mesa Women’s Club
5220 Wilson Street
La Mesa, CA
Box Office Phone: 619 469-6433