THE 51st SEASON – 2010-2011
MOVE OVER, MRS. MARKHAM
The Hand to Mouth Players in conjunction with YCP TheaterWorks presented the zany farce, Move Over, Mrs. Markham by Ray Cooney and John Chapman at the Van Cortlandtville School Theatre in November 2010.
This comic British romp, directed by Kathy Colonna, is chock full of all the key elements of farce: misunderstandings, jumping to conclusions, secrets, mistaken identities and confusion. The play is set in a very elegant London flat whose owners, Mr. and Mrs. Markham are played by Dick Smith and Jacqueline Smith. He is a straight-laced publisher of children’s books, whose office partner (Gary Simon) would like to borrow his apartment for the evening to “entertain” his latest girlfriend.
At the same time Mrs. Markham has been persuaded by her friend (Evelyn Voura) to let her borrow the apartment so she can entertain her lover (Martin Posner). What nobody knows is that the Markham’s interior designer (Jerry Quinn) who has been decorating the apartment for the past three months has decided that this was the night he and the au pair (Stacy Salmeri) will try out the new designer bed! How’s this for the start of chaos and bedlam? Let us not fail to mention some side-splitting laughs.
Rounding out the cast are Phyllis Kirigin who plays a writer of children’s books seeking a new publisher who doesn’t go in for sex and Michele Smail as the telephone operator with a particularly “sexified” soothing voice.
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK
YCP TheaterWorks presented Neil Simon’s first smash hit Barefoot in the Park, the bubbly romantic comedy that has charmed audiences for more than 50 years, opening at the Biltmore Theatre in 1963 and running for an amazing 1530 performances.
The play, presented at the Van Cortlandtville School Theatre in Mohegan Lake in January 2011, tells the story of Corie and Paul Bratter, newlyweds who have just moved into their first apartment, a fifth-floor walk-up that’s short on space but long on charm. Corie (Karen Symington Muendell) is a giddy fireball eager to prove herself as a dutiful wife, while young lawyer Paul (Justin Krass) is more reserved, but no less in love with his new bride.
Tensions arise when Paul is given his first big case at work and Corie starts to feel neglected. Mix in eccentric upstairs neighbor Victor Velasco (Ed Fonzo) who stokes Corie’s wild, impetuous side and Corie’s well-meaning mother (Anne Rodgers Pearl) and you’ve got a classic Simon comedy based on oil-and-water personalities. Daniel Burke as the telephone installer and Tom Gordon as a delivery man round out the cast.
AGNES OF GOD
YCP TheaterWorks staged the riveting drama Agnes of God by John Pielmeier and directed by Maureen Howard, at the Van Cortlandtville School Theatre in April 2011. This taut psychological drama closed out YCP TheaterWorks 51st season.
Set in the late 1970s, Agnes of God is the story of three women who are drawn together by the death of a child. When Dr. Martha Livingston, (Melinda O’Brien) a disillusioned ex-Catholic psychiatrist, is summoned to a convent and meets Sister Agnes (Heather Campbell), a young novitiate accused of murdering her newborn, she is deeply moved by the young nun’s spiritual purity. Determined to circumvent the overprotective Mother Superior (Kate Gleeson), Dr. Livingstone struggles to unearth the truth about the conception, birth and death of Agnes’ child. Both constantly clash over their seemingly steadfast beliefs while desperately trying to save Agnes. All three women are forced to re-examine the meaning of faith, identity and the power of love.