THE 46th SEASON – 2005-2006
The Foreigner won two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. The foreigner of the title is Charlie Baker (Dick Smith), an Englishman who is brought to Betty Meeks’ (Phyllis Kirigin) fishing lodge in southern Georgia by his friend Froggy LeSueur (Eric Goche), a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby Army base. Hilarious intrigue begins as the quirky characters start to spill their darkest secrets. The comedy is replete with mistaken identities, surprising plot twists and evil villains. While Shue’s primary concern is a joyful comic romp, the play is not without substance, addressing as it does the theme of self-realization and serious issues, bigotry chief among them.
Other leading cast members included Jeannine Goche as Catherine, a former debutante, Jim Ormond as Reverend David Marshall Lee, her betrothed, Rick Apicella as Catherine’s doltish brother and Kevin Vislocky as the local redneck property inspector. Director Elaine Hartel has directed Over the River and Through the Woods and Witness for the Prosecution for YCP TheaterWorks, Painting Churches for Hand-to-Mouth Players as well as Original One-act Play Festival productions.
THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH
YCP TheaterWorks continued its 46th season with one of the theater’s biggest comedy hits, George Axelrod’s The Seven Year Itch. Under the direction of Christopher Arena, The Seven Year Itch proved itself remarkably fresh and funny. The story is all too familiar: With his wife and child off to the shore for the summer, but a job that keeps him in their downtown apartment during the work week, a husband of seven years fantasizes about having a fling with a young woman who has sublet the apartment above. Although the themes and conflicts are just as tangible and realistic today, be assured this is not a revival of a creaky 1950s comedy.
First of all, director Arena updated the play setting it at the present time. Secondly, if it’s the movie you remember, you may not realize that the play is much edgier. Thirdly, playwright Axelrod employs a fascinating and rarely used technique: he takes us into the mind of a married man. The audience always knows what the main character is thinking. Not only does he talk to himself, but the two main characters’ alter egos appear as needed. Though the script alternates between reality and fantasy, the story is understandable and believable enabling the audience to reflect on the nature of relationships just as it did in the 50s.
Leading the cast as the errant husband Richard is Kevin Vislocky. Toni Fazio portrayed the beautiful upstairs neighbor. The other women in Richard’s life—were portrayed by Margaret Fiorentino, Dawn Bernitt-Perito, Carolin Schutze, Karen Muendell and The Girl’s Alter Ego by Donna. Frank Panzer was Dr. Brubaker and Jim Petrillo Tom. Richard’s Alter Ego was played by Antonio Soares.
THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON
YCP TheaterWorks finished its 46th season with the brilliant and powerful 1973 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award and Critics Circle winner, That Championship Season by Jason Miller. Directed by Brian DeToma, this riveting drama featured Tom Gorman, Paul DeRito, Paul Narad and Jesse Rome and Mark Firestone performed in May 2006 at the Van Cortlandtville School Theater. The play focuses on five men– Coach, played by Tom Gorman the pivotal character in a reunion comprised of former championship team. Twenty years ago, they never thought they’d ever be anything less than teammates, champions, heroes and friends. But two decades of living with a terrible secret can tarnish anything—including the gleam of a sterling silver trophy. They were the greatest high school basketball team their town had ever seen. And the glorious night they won the state championship was the crowning moment in each of their lives. But this night, when the play begins, twenty years after that magnificent victory, four best friends are about to face off against their most formidable opponents ever—each other.