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CAT Theatre Enchanted April

By • Mar 27th, 2014 • Category: Reviews
Enchanted April
CAT Theatre: (Info) (Web)
CAT Theatre, Richmond, VA
Through April 5th
2:10 with intermission
$19/$17 Student/$13 RAPT
Reviewed March 23rd, 2014

The patrons of CAT Theatre voted on what play they wished to see produced again to celebrate the theater’s 50th anniversary, and they chose Enchanted April. It was an appropriate choice coming from a mostly “seasoned” and well-educated looking crowd, as in many ways it reminded me of a PBS broadcast on stage.

In 1922 England, housewife Lottie Wilson (Donna Marie Miller) is a Pollyanna living a dull, dreary and loveless life with her domineering husband Mellersh (Bob Murphy). She sees an ad in the newspaper for a vacation castle for rent in Italy in April owned by Anthony Wilding (Tyler Simpson). She meets fellow sad and lonely housewife Rose Arnott (Louise Mason) who is married to philandering writer Frederick (Scott Garka) and convinces her to join her in escaping for a month away from their husbands. In order to afford it, they place an ad looking for two more women to join them and find sexy dancer Lady Caroline (Elizabeth Ashby) and dowager Mrs. Graves (Toni Cacioppo) who is Dame Maggie Smith embodied.

The vacation spot proves the answer to what ails this cast of sad and dreary people living in sad, dreary and rainy post World War I England, bringing them well needed spiritual rejuvenation.

All the pieces work well in this comedy, and each of the performers is perfectly cast by Director Pat Walker. I must single out the comedic skills of Susan Gerber, who makes the most of a supporting role as a non-English speaking Italian housekeeper. Donna Marie Miller is entertaining, energetic and fun as the central character; and Louise Mason is enthralling in the emotional and spiritual changes that Rose experiences as she blossoms.

Tony Turner’s set’s in Act I are functional and well-chosen; dividing the stage into thirds to allow for the frequent quick set changes. However, his bright and colorful Italian villa is beautifully lavish for the entirety of Act II. Charlotte Scharff’s costumes also perfectly contrast the change in the characters from drab in Act I to bright and cheery in Act II. Alan Armstrong’s lights also work well to enhance the mood and feel of each scene, with bright differentiation in Act II.

As we enter April and the end of our own long drab winter, step away from “Downtown Abbey” and watch live English comedy at its best at CAT Theatre.

Photo Gallery

Toni Cacioppo, Susan Gerber Scott Garka, Louise Mason
Toni Cacioppo, Susan Gerber
Scott Garka, Louise Mason
Donna Marie Miller, Bob Murphy
Donna Marie Miller, Bob Murphy

Photos provided by CAT Theatre

The Cast

  • Lottie Wilton: Donna Marie Miller
  • Rose Arnott: Louise Mason
  • Mellersh Wilton: Bob Murphy
  • Frederick Arnott: Scott Garka
  • Lady Caroline: Elisabeth Ashby
  • Mrs. Graves: Toni Cacioppo
  • Costanza: Susan Gerber
  • Anthony Wilding: Tyler Simpson
  • Carmella: Camilla Davis

The Crew

  • Director: Pat Walker
  • Stage Manager: Katherine-Ann Bishop
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Joiseph Bishop
  • Executive Producer: Kelly St. Clair
  • Associate Producer: H. Lynn Smith
  • Technical Director: Kent Walker
  • Set Designer: Tony Turner
  • Lighting Design: Alan Armstrong
  • Costume Design: Charolotte Scharff
  • Assistant Costumer: Betty Williams
  • Sound Design: Buddy Bishop
  • Props Coordinator: Andrea Wainwright-Zimmerman
  • House Manager Coorodinator: Linda Sue Underwood
  • House Management Team: Shari Adams, Casey Scallion, June Spencer, Lerita Carter, Celie Seeber, Christa Marshall, Janice Jones
  • Light Board Operator: Katherine-Ann Bishop
  • Sound Operator: Dan Gerstenlauer
  • Set Construction Crew: Kent Walker, Dick Collins, Ginette Bellefeulle, Dan Gerstenlauer, Laurie Follmer, Marc Follmer, Lin Heath, Kelly St. Clair, Granville Scott, Rose Marie Mitchell, Tony Turner, Pat Walker, Betty Williams
  • Costume Construction Team: Joe Bishop, Alison Eichier, Andrea Garks
  • Marquee: Lin Heath
  • Cast Photos: Kinney Thompson
  • Season Show Logos: Mike Fletcher
  • Poster Artwork: Mike Flecther and Art Trotter
  • Playbill: Mike Fletcher
  • Web Designer: Tony Turner
  • Concessions Manager: Lynn Bailes

Disclaimer: CAT Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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is by day a Special Education teacher, teaching History, Science and drama to Middle and High School students in a private Day School in Stafford. He has degrees in Educational Media and Special Education. He is also a part time Radio News Anchor and occasional actor in the Richmond area. Bruce is a native of New Jersey and spent most of his "adult" life in Upstate New York, where he started and ran a national award winning youth theater and cable television program for over 10 years. He has lived in Virginia since 2002, and in Caroline County since 2005, where he is active in many community groups; including serving on the Board of Caroline's Promise.

One Response »

  1. A few typos that lived through the editing process were hunted down and squashed. Sorry for missing those!