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The Man Who Came to Dinner

a Comedy
CATEGORY :
by Kaufman & Hart

COMPANY : Cumming Attractions Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Cumming Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 1275

SHOWING : August 05, 2005 - August 28, 2005

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A nasty spill forces celebrity critic and radio personality, Sheridan Whiteside, to become a demanding, long term and eccentric houseguest. His cranky convalescence turns the normal household of a prominent family into a complete nightmare!


CAST & CREW LIST
Cast Jacqueline E. Goldston
ProdMgr Jacqueline E. Goldston
Director Chris Mayer
Co-StageMgr Kate Awtrey
BusinessMgr, Lights Jim Severnak
Co-StageMgr Lindsay Wagoner
TechDir, SetDesign, Sound Glenn Whitehead
Richard Stanley Jack Carpenter
John John Carpenter
Harriet Lydia Carpenter
Sheridan Whiteside Jim Dailey
Dr. Bradley Richard Dillon
June Stanley Amy Glover
Bert Jefferson Chris Goldston
Radio Singer Alexandra Goldston
Dr. Bradley Michael Graves
Mrs. Stanley Pat Groman
Prof. Metz Gene Heslin
Westcott John Heslin
Banjo Adam Levenstein
Maggie Cutler Anna Lichtenwalner
Mrs. McCutcheon Renee McCullah
Miss Preen Cheryl Rogers
Radio Singer Jessica Severnak
Lorraine Sheldon Olivia Sloan
Sarah Linda Thompson
Mrs. Dexter Valerie Wagoner
Beverly Carlton Bill Wilson
Radio Singer Elisabeth Wilson
CATCo Admin Miranda Dobbins
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REVIEWS

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Worth the Trip!
by Friscopete
Sunday, August 14, 2005
4.0
Yes, I had an alternative motive for flying from my San Francisco suburb to Cumming; I came to see my best friend and her family for a long awaited visit. But I have heard about CATCo from my friend and was eager to see her in a performance. What I was treated to was two nights of fun and laughter and a truly professional and entertaining performance.
Jim Daily smoothly carried his demanding role as Whiteside; the impossibly egotistical, conniving critic and radio personality. He commanded the stage with his voice because for most of the play he was confined to a wheel chair. He managed to make me dislike him and at the same time feel sorry for him which is an admirable talent for any actor.
Anna Lichtenwalner was superb in her role as Maggie Cutler. She was articulate and used her facial expressions to convey to the audience the many emotions her character was going through. I could feel the sparks and daggers fly between her and her nemesis, Lorraine Sheldon, played by Olivia Sloan. Olivia gave a most convincing performance as the man-eating vamp whose goal it was to steal Maggie’s true love, Bert Jefferson, away from her.
Chris Goldston was perfectly cast as Bert Jefferson, a handsome young man who was terrific at showing his romantic, flirtatious side as well as playing a convincing, happy drunk.
Cheryl Roger's portrayal of Nurse Preen was hysterical. She certainly showed her ability to create layers for her character by beginning as a timid professional who was transformed, by Whiteside, into a raging maniac who no longer wanted to save humanity, but rather exterminate it.
Michael Graves, as Dr. Bradley, made me almost wish that his book, "Forty Years as an Ohio Doctor" would make the Best Sellers List.
Bill Wilson took control of the stage as Beverly Carlton, a loveable egotist who completely captivated the scene with his self serving monologues and a song. He also comically provided the audience with a true biography of Lorraine and her shallow existence.
Adam Levenstein as the "incomparable Banjo” and co-conspirator of Whiteside showed his comedic talents, both verbally and physically. The chemistry between his character and Whiteside was evident as they plotted together to remove Lorraine from the scene and restore Maggie to her true love.
Kudos to Gene Heslin and his "parapalenta americana" (American cockroaches). He could give mad scientists a good name.
To me, one of the most endearing factors of community theater is its ability to use it's actors in multiple roles. Renee McCullah, Valerie Wagoner and John Heslin played everything from the excited neighbors to jail birds, a delivery man, FBI goons; a misunderstood boyfriend to a prison guard and radio man.
John Carpenter and Linda Thompson deftly played the butler and cook who provided some normalcy to an otherwise chaotic household. I especially enjoyed John’s little hop to the door each time the bell rang.
Speaking of normalcy, Harriet Stanley, played by Lydia Carpenter, was woefully short of sanity. Every time she poked her turban head around the corner of the stairway, I knew I was in for a treat.
The Stanley family; Ernest, Daisy, Richard and June are all thrown into a whirlpool of chaos and mayhem with the arrival of the noted celebrity, Whiteside. Jim Severnak, Pat Groman, Jack Carpenter and Amy Glover give me a real feel for what it must be like to live through such turmoil.
I was especially happy to see young people involved, even in a minor role, in the performance. Three young ladies, Alexandra Goldston, Alyssa Gilmore and Elisabeth Wilson charmed the audience with a sweet rendition of "Silent Night" which set the tone for Whiteside's Christmas Eve broadcast.
I particularly enjoyed the pre-show music and Whiteside’s commentary on the Hollywood celebrities of the period. I was almost as excited to meet the man as the neighbors were when the lights came up on Act 1.
Although I was just a visitor here, I encourage you to see this play and support this dedicated theater troupe which is an integral part of your community. For a nominal ticket price, you will receive an enjoyable and relaxing evening of fun, laughter and old fashioned entertainment. When I get home, I am going to buy season tickets for our community theater and they can thank CATCo for my renewed interest.
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pleasant surprise
by mediahound
Friday, August 12, 2005
4.0
On opening night usually everyone had the confidence of seasoned professionals and the show was laugh out loud. Each performer seemed really focused and with comedy sometimes that comes off stiff but well done. The sets were litte sad and sometimes the stage was too dark, refering to not enough well distributed light but it may have been the angle I was sitting since I was off to the side. My group of friends also enjoyed this show and we hope it has success. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
The Man Who Came to Dinner
by Brode Tuwall
Friday, August 12, 2005
4.0
The Man Who Came to Dinner

Comedy is not easy to carry off. People who do comedy usually have a long history of clowning off in school or developing the matter of timing, finesse and delivery through a series of personal mishaps. Therefore, I am usually suspicious of amateur romantic comedies.

The Man Who Came to Dinner is a romantic comedy. Masterfully written in 1938 it has lines which refer to notables of a bygone era. Therefore, some of the comedy in this play will be missed by those who are not historically conscious of vaudeville, old time theater and screen. However, that is the problem of the play. It is not necessarily the problem of the actors.

Some of the humor in this play was missed because of the era of the piece. Some of it is missed because the actors delivered their lines too quickly, failed in their timing or mumbled lines that had a punch. This does not diminish the fact that the actors, by and large, met the criteria of a comedic drama.

Having seen Jim Dailey in several plays I think his role as Sheridan Whiteside, the man who came to dinner, is his best. I saw the second presentation. By the time the play has had several showing I am sure Dailey will hone his lines to excellence. Certainly, Jim is well cast and creates empathy for the character as he moves from an arrogant curmudgeon to a tender hearted repentant jerk.

Gene Heslin as Professor Metz would plays the nutty professor well to garner laughs with far less mugging than Jerry Lewis did in his wacky role of a similar stereotypical character. Chris Goldston, playing the romantic lead, is smoothly a good pick as a romantic lead while he imitates a drunk admirably well and suave straight man. His romantic opposite, Anna Lichtenwaler, Maggie Cutler, fires some spunky lines really well at her boss, Sheridan Whiteside, and then ably moves to become a love enamored single woman who have found her man with convincing alacrity.

I regret that I cannot identify the character by name who played the part of the Hollywood vamp. However, credit goes to her for her sashshaying back and forth across the stage in her red dress giving necessary burlesque to the drama. She did it well and we will not forget how we may look when we try to be bigger than we are. And, what can we say about the wacky comedienne who graced the stage with flowing and flowered robes? We can say, well done. You remind us all of the people in our lives who are preoccupied with their own illusions and who talk to themselves. Thanks for giving us some comic relief.

A word of appreciation must go to the rest of the cast who did superb support work. They are making the Catco Productions something we will not want to miss at the Cumming Theater. They are quality. They are our own. They deserve our support and appreciation for reminding us a good hobby is one that makes others happy.

Derrel Emmerson
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