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Theater Review: ‘An Evening Of One Acts’ A Delight At Theater Barn



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UPDATE (9:46 am): This review has been updated to correct the last name of one of the actors in Incorrigable.

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RIDGEFIELD — What is better than one play? Seven of them!

Ridgefield Theater Barn (RTB) has returned with its annual “An Evening of One Acts,” featuring seven short plays presented in just 90 minutes. It is a delightful, fast-paced evening of theater. From Biblical retellings to awkward co-worker romance to dueling divas, there is something for everyone.

First up is An Awkward Conversation in the Shadow of Mount Moriah by John Bavoso and directed by Gina Pulice. In this comical retelling of the Abraham and Isaac story from The Bible, the audience learns what happened after the famous fable. David Tate plays Abraham with a commanding presence and booming baritone voice. He and Josh Adelson (Isaac) make a wonderful on stage duo.

This is followed by No Good Deed by Ed Friedman and directed by Deborah Carlson. In this piece, viewers are witness to something all too familiar to theatergoers: the awkward after-show chatter between performers and audience members.

Brenda (Pamme Jones) has just finished her one woman show, and gets an expected visitor in her co-worker Benny (Mark Hankla). This play offered some of the biggest laughs of the evening. The chemistry of Hankla and Jones was palpable and their comedic timing is perfection.

Basinette by Kate Katcher and directed by Greg Liolsi, third in the lineup, is a short and cute piece about a mother and daughter (Sheri Rak and Cheryl Hughes) buying a bassinette off the internet from new mother Shauna (Emily Volipintesta) under false pretenses. Volipintesta has been a staple of these annual one acts and is always a joy to watch on stage.

Group by Chris Griffin, directed by Brian Detoma, features Rachel Ames, Lindsay Clouse, Taffy (Stephanie) Miller, Thomas Stubbs and Bill Warncke as various characters from throughout time stuck in purgatory questioning their existence and their future. All offer solid performances, which nicely balance each other out.

Incorrigable by Bara Swain and directed by Craig David Rosen offers another take on mother-daughter relationships. Janice Rudolph plays a loud, joke-filled, fact-spouting mother and Rachel Dalton is her daughter.

The play takes on the difficult conversation a daughter has to have when their mother is no longer able to live on their own. While this may seem like a heavy topic for a ten minute play, it is handled with grace and humor by both the actors and the director.

The penultimate play is Rugby’s Angels, a fun SNL-style piece written by Joe Carlisle and directed by David Fritsch. It reunites Jones and Hankla — this time as Hazel, an actress, and Jimmy, a director, respectively — while adding Angie Joachim into the mix as Ruth, another actress vying for a part in Jimmy’s TV series. As previously mentioned, Jones’ and Hankla’s chemistry and timing is superb. Adding Joachim to the mix only takes the comedy to the next level.

The final piece, and judging by the audience’s reaction the favorite of the night, is Stealing a Kiss by Laurie Allen, directed by Linda Seay. It featured RTB staple Larry Greeley and Stephanie Hepburn as two widowers who meet at a bus stop in a rainstorm.

Greeley delivers every line with a skill and effortlessness that is rarely seen. Hepburn holds her own and keeps her audience enthralled with each moment. It was a perfect way to end an evening at the theater.

Performances continue weekends to April 1, Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons, March 19 and 26. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors, students and veterans.

More information and tickets can be found at ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org.

Larry Greeley and Stephanie Hepburn co-star in Stealing A Kiss, the finale of seven wonderful one acts being offered in this season’s An Evening of One Acts at Ridgefield Theater Barn. The collection of short works adds up to a very entertaining evening of theater within RTB’s traditional cabaret setting. —Paulette Layton photo
David Tate (left) is Abraham and Josh Adelson is Isaac in An Awkward Conversation in the Shadow of Mount Moriah. The comedic retelling of the story from the Bible is the first offering in An Evening of One Acts in Ridgefield, treating audiences to a strong opening. —Rachel Ames photo
Chris Griffin’s Group, directed by Brian Detoma, features various characters — from left Walt (Bill Warncke), Jackie (Lindsay Clouse), Angela (Rachel Ames), Marianne (Taffy Miller), and Cornelius (Thomas Stubbs) — from throughout time stuck in purgatory questioning their existence and their future. —Paulette Layton photo
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