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Theater Review: Plenty Of Laughs Celebrating Love And Relationships, One Act At A Time

Published: March 14, 2019 at 09:50 am

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RIDGEFIELD — The Ridgefield Theater Barn is presenting its annual production of original one-act plays, with nary a drama in sight. This collection of short comedies by various local playwrights makes for a quintessential community theater experience, with lots of laughs to boot.

Seven separate plays with one very relatable series threaded throughout perfectly accompany dinner and drinks in this cozy cabaret setting.

Paulette Layton’s Miss Match/Mismatch features Eliza (played by Emily Volpintesta) and a collection of flawed boyfriend candidates (Chris Cenatiempo). Their series of blind dates has been delightfully directed by Nancy Ponturo.

Humor runs through all of the plays, each offering various takes on relationships and connection. Actors featured also include Kristin Aug, Maya Jennings Daley, Lori Franzese, Elayne Gordon, Larry Greeley, Timothy Huber, Valerie Hugel, Daschel Knuff, Cathy Malloy, Kristi McKeever, Taffy Miller, Christine Mitchell-Robinson, CJ Morsey, Matt Pagliaro, Eli Rose, Craig David Rosen, Stephen Ross, Chhanda Som, and Kylie Wolf.

All the performers set a high bar and play their parts convincingly in this rapid-fire form of theater. Standouts included Chhanda Som, Valerie Hugel, Maya Jennings Daley, and Taffy Miller in How We Met.

In Ellie Martino’s work, two longtime lovers retell the story of their first meeting, which they each recall quite differently, while two others reenact the occasion. The play is clever and invites broad physical comedy, which was excellently choreographed by Director David Fritsch and mastered by Ms Som and Ms Jennings Daley.

While all of the plays were good, Ed Friedman’s Love at Worst Sight and Secret Dreamers were especially smart and well-constructed.

The former featured lovely performances by Christine Mitchell-Robinson and Matt Pagliaro as a new couple coming to understand both a unique form of color blindness as well as that which we all have in common. Well-directed by Erik Tonner, this play is a decidedly different take on love and race.

The latter, directed by Nick Kaye, was perfectly cast with Kristin Aug, Cathy Malloy, and the absolutely hilarious Elayne Gordon. Three sisters of a certain age are visiting a museum, when they decide to each weigh in on what they see in a certain painting. The results confirm that no one knows what really goes on behind closed doors. It was an eye opener!

Much praise to Ridgefield Theater Barn for creating this happening to showcase the talents of local writers, directors, and performers. It is a true community event worth catching.

The ninth annual Evening of One Acts continues weekends through March 30. Curtain is Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, and Sundays, March 17 and 24, at 2 pm.

Tickets are $28-$35 and can be purchased by calling 203-431-9850 or online at ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org.

 

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