The little table lamp with its beaded shade spoke of the 1930s, the overstuffed sofa and armchair and the coffee table with the cabriole legs of the 1940s or 1950s, the soggy, Thomas Kincaid-ish painting of the 1980s. The very well-stocked bar at the back of the stage suggested that these characters drink more than George and Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," which is impossible. While the audience waited, songs were played from the Golden Age of Movies: Judy Garland and Fred Astaire singing "We're A Couple of Swells," Ruby Keeler trying to sing "42nd Street." I expected a sort of quasi Noel Coward drawing room farce.But "Amateurs" is none of that. This funny and sad play is set in the present, during an opening- night party thrown by an ebullient young teacher named Dorothy (Dawn Marie Wood) for her friends, who are members of an amateur acting company. The civilians in the group include Dorothy's pixilated husband Charlie (played by Vincent, who's also the director) and her fellow teacher, the nebbishy Nathan (Joseph Schweigert), who shows up in a sweater, chinos and red velvet bow tie. The guest of honor is the critic Paul Cortland (played by the magisterial Bob Acerno). The actors are aspiring playboy Wayne (Lawrence Hoffman), the sexy, wisecracking lead actress Jennifer (Jennifer DiMatteo), Irene Chilmark (Bonnie Sassower) and her vulgar husband Ernie (Jim Thomas) who we know is bad news when he shows up with a trash basket on his head and barking like a seal. Mona (Sarah Marcisak), Wayne's loopy, much younger girlfriend, also makes an appearance, as does Horace, Nathan's creepy Howdy Doody puppet, who, believe it or not, comes to play an important role in the proceeding
©2005 Community News Group
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