Theatre Info for the Richmond region

Carol Piersol Patti Issues

By • Mar 12th, 2014 • Category: Reviews
Patti Issues
Carol Piersol
HATTheatre, Richmond, VA
March 20th Through April 5th
$25/$10 Students
Reviewed March 8th, 2014

Playwright Ben Rimalower grew up estranged from an emotionally erratic, gay father and became obsessed with the singing of Broadway star Patti LuPone. Thus, he grew up with Patti Issues.

Rimalower’s autobiographical play is the perfect vehicle for Billy Christopher Maupin. Both Rimalower and Maupin’s lives have centered on assisting, producing, directing and performing in cabaret’s and musical theater. Following up two one-man Cabaret performances this season (Still Mad About the Boy(s), and (My) Life Upon the Wicked Stage) Maupin shines in this one-man, one-act play.

Director Carol Piersol makes the most of sharing the stage at Richmond Triangle Players by keeping Maupin moving and seeking levels as he shares Rimalower’s life story with the audience.

Maupin is energetic and charismatic as he gives voice to the various people who shaped Rimalower’s life. He is at his best, however, when Rimalower releases his pent-up anger and when he sings snippets of some of LuPone’s songs.

One nice touch in the shared space comes from Lighting Director Michael Jarret before the show even starts. While the audience is serenaded by some of the Broadway songs LuPone is known for, three small projection windows from the High set change to show the marquee signs from each musical.

While it follows this year’s trend in the Acts of Faith festival by exploring philosophical rather than spiritual issues (delving into issues like forgiveness, human faith and “idol” worship), it is an hour of pure and simple entertainment.

The Cast

  • Ben Rimalower: Billy Christopher Maupin

The Crew

  • Director: Carol Piersol
  • Associate Producer: Billy Christopher Maupin
  • Stage Manager: Morgan Stone
  • Lighting Design: Michael Jarret
  • Associate Lighting Design: Weston Corey
  • Rehearsal Assistant: Tim Goad
  • Photographers:Eric Dobbs, Jay Paul
  • Graphic Design: Billy Christopher Maupin, Sara Marsden

Disclaimer: Richmond Triangle Players 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. I apologize for my mistake in attributing this production to the Richmond Triangle Players, when it is actually a production of Carol Piersol.