FRONT ROW CENTER

By Michael Warren

Tribute
By Bernard Slade
Directed by Roseann Wilshire

 

Tribute is a strange play, a mixture of comedy, sentimentality and pathos. As a result, the audience is kept off balance, unsure whether to laugh or cry. It is much to the credit of Roseann Wilshire and a talented cast that we manage to believe in the characters and their mixed-up emotions.

Don Rausch plays “Scottie Templeton” – a loveable rogue who has lived a happily irresponsible life –with great skill and stage presence. I didn’t always catch the one-liners when he dropped his voice or turned away from the audience, but he was always totally believable as Scottie the joker. For him, life is one long party. His son “Jud” doesn’t like his father very much – the play revolves around the difficult relationship between Jud and his Dad. Kevin O’Byrne handles the role of Jud very well, with repressed emotions bursting out from time to time into entirely understandable rage. Meanwhile, Betty Lloyd Robinson is happily sympathetic as “Maggie Stratton,” Scottie’s ex-wife and Jud’s mother.

It turns out that Scottie is suffering from leukemia, and is forced to contemplate his own mortality. But, hey, life is a party and Scottie keeps up the one-liners. He’d like to reconcile with Jud, but neither of them quite knows how to do it. Phyllis Silverman plays Scottie’s doctor “Gladys Petrelli” who makes personal house-calls (can you believe it?) and is mostly the bearer of unwelcome news. And Don Chaloner is personable as “Lou Daniels” – Scottie’s best friend and landlord who acts as a sort of Master of Ceremonies for the tribute that they all organize for Scottie who (thank goodness!) agrees to the chemotherapy treatments that may save his life. There are two girl-friends in the play. It seems that they were hookers or professional escorts whom Scottie has befriended. Collette Clavadetscher is a newcomer to the LLT stage and performs creditably as “Sally Haines” as she tries to help Jud like his father. And Beryel Dorscht (“Hilary”) has a very funny scene as she pretends to be a nurse, and goes beyond the call of duty for a confused Scottie.

The set was interesting and cleverly constructed with various levels to provide height and contrast.

Congratulations to the set designers Alex Pinkerton and Tony Wilshere. Roseann Wilshere directed this difficult play with considerable subtlety and drew out the best from her cast. I wondered why Scottie didn’t  seem at all sick or even slow down after chemotherapy, but perhaps that would have been out of character. Good work by all concerned! Next up is the musical The Pajama Game by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross – many of us will remember its popular songs. The Pajama Game opens on February 26, and will still be running when you read this review at the beginning of March.

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren   May 2016 Other Desert Cities April 2016 Nunsense March 2016 Good People February
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren The ForeignerBy Larry ShueDirected by Larry King   The Foreigner is a hokey comedy set in a fishing resort in the
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren The Lakeside Little Theatre – A Historical Note   Due to the timing of the plays and the submission requirements
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren Lend Me a TenorBy Ken LudwigDirected by Roger Tredway   If you like a traditional farce, chock full of mistaken
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: kdavis987@gmail.com November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals