Are you keeping your New Year's resolutions?|
Story Archives: Shrunken Heads review
- 2013 - 320 articles
- 2012 - 1160 articles
- 2011 - 1177 articles
- 2010 - 810 articles
- 2009 - 779 articles
- 2008 - 949 articles
- December 2008 - 88 articles
- November 2008 - 73 articles
- October 2008 - 71 articles
- September 2008 - 91 articles
- August 2008 - 98 articles
- July 2008 - 98 articles
- June 2008 - 60 articles
- May 2008 - 66 articles
- April 2008 - 108 articles
- April 29th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 16 articles
- April 23rd, 2008 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- April 22nd, 2008 (Tuesday) - 21 articles
- April 18th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- April 17th, 2008 (Thursday) - 1 articles
- April 16th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 18 articles
- April 15th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 5 articles
- April 8th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 25 articles
- April 2nd, 2008 (Wednesday) - 12 articles
- April 1st, 2008 (Tuesday) - 8 articles
- March 2008 - 70 articles
- February 2008 - 48 articles
- January 2008 - 78 articles
|Shrunken Heads review|
by Dianne Tims
For all those who have ever felt the need to escape from the unrelenting stress of their jobs, The Princess Theatre's production of "Shrunken Heads," by M. Z. Ribalow, definitely hit home.
Gene Thompson, executive director of the theatre and also stars in the production, managed to continue the Princess Theatre's tradition of presenting another excellent play with talented actors, providing a fun, relaxing evening of entertainment.
Shrunken Heads' hilarious plot involves a successful psychiatrist, Dr. Bob Hyde and his wife, Polly. Desperately needing a respite from his patients, they attempt to spend a peaceful weekend at their country estate. The operative word being "attempt." Dr. Bob just begins to relax when a variety of colorful characters intrude on his much-needed solace. He and Polly spend the entire play trying to rid themselves of a neurotic patient, Dorothy, who follows him to his estate; his snooty ex-wife, Jennifer, who has come to collect her alimony; his seven-time college drop-out daughter, Caroline; Caroline's boyfriend Car, who joins her in her adventures to "become one with the universe," and Norman, Dorothy's jealous husband.
The group of talented actors played their parts with energy and enthusiasm and managed to make their characters realistic and funny.
Gene Thompson gave an excellent performance as the stressed-out Dr. Bob Hyde, who needed a quiet weekend away from his emotionally demanding practice. He wanted to rid himself of "those emotional infants" he counsels. Only moments after the play begins, Dr. Hyde's dialog with his new young wife sets the hilarious tone of the play with his syrupy, "honey bunny/pookey bear" gibberish. The audience is offered an insider's view of Dr. Hyde's counseling sessions right inside his own home, and Thompson nailed his soliloquy with difficult passages of medical dialog. He has a strong stage presence and thoroughly believable as the frustrated, yet very funny doctor.
Judy Long was perfect in the part of Polly, Dr. Hyde's new, young, blonde wife who wants only to please her husband and spend quality time with him. After the doctor's futile attempts to get rid of Dorothy -- and everyone else -- Polly surprises everyone by succeeding to firmly, yet graciously, get rid of her unwelcome guests. Then she generously gives the credit to her husband: "Robert, you handled everything so well." Long made a wonderful Polly Hyde, giving the character not only humor, but charm and ingenuity. She was compelling in her portrayal of the adoring wife.
Honey Eldridge is phenomenal in her difficult role as Dorothy Putney, a neurotic patient of Dr. Hyde's, who appears at the doctor's estate claiming that she just can't wait till her session on Monday. Eldridge convincingly carried her character's many mood swings with hilarity, showing the ups and downs of her character's irrational state of mind. She easily and shamelessly exposed Dorothy's diverse range of emotions: angry, obsessive, cheerful, rude, seductive, confused, and amused -- often all at the same time. She reveals her infatuation with the doctor by confiding, "You're the saccharine in my coffee, Dr. Bob!"
Leigh Jonson was flawless as Jennifer Hyde, the doctor's sophisticated, glitzy ex-wife. Dressed in black and diamonds, Jennifer shows up at the doctor's house to collect her alimony for the weekend and makes it clear that "you know how I loathe limiting my weekend." Jennifer admits that she "lives entirely for pleasure," and finds great entertainment in provoking the newer, younger, Mrs. Hyde. Jonson is a wonderful ex-Mrs. Hyde, and completely believable in her strong, icy, self-possessed character. Although most of her dialog was one-liners, she received her share of laughs from her clever retorts and snobbish expressions.
Shelby Kiper was delightful as Caroline, the daughter of Dr. Hyde and Jennifer Hyde and is a seven-time college drop-out who aspires to "be at one with the universe." She shows up, wanting her father to fund her trip to Colorado: "It would make the trip reverberate with good vibrations." Kiper mastered the part, maintaining a glassy-eyed appearance, which is not easy when portraying a character whose mind is a blank slate. She is so convincing that it's difficult to tell if she's acting or not.
Luke Phillips shined in his local stage debut as Caroline's boyfriend, Car, who is "deeply real, in a far-out kind of way." Phillips has great fun with his character, and it certainly shows. One of the play's funniest moments occurs when Car animatedly describes his stomach ulcer. His energetic soliloquy earned an enthusiastic applause from the crowd.
Clark McCain was excellent as Norman Putney, Dorothy's desperate, cab-driving husband, who wants to help his irrational wife. However well-meaning and devoted he is to helping Dorothy, Norman is easily distracted by the flirtatious Jennifer: "Do you really think I'm an attractive animal?" McCain has a natural flair for comedy, and whenever he takes the stage, you know it's going to be funny. He was a wonderful mixture of confusion, recklessness, and wit.
Bill Jonson and Wade Walley, the stage crew, also deserve applause. Scott Knight managed once again to cater a delicious meal.
Although the play was fairly short, it was perfectly performed. Those in the audience looking for a great meal and good, old-fashioned belly laughs, certainly weren't disappointed.