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CROSSING DELANCY
a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Susan Sandler

COMPANY : Lionheart Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 14th Street Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 5229

SHOWING : February 15, 2018 - February 25, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Raleigh Wade
Crew Amy Szymanski
Hannah Mandelbaum Shelley Barnett
Sam Davin Allen Grindstaff
Bubbie Marla Krohn
Tyler Adam Vann
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Charm Offensive
by playgoer
Monday, February 19, 2018
3.0
Susan Sandler’s "Crossing Delancey" tells a slight story, concerning a young Jewish woman who has romantic fantasies about a famous writer and yet who is confronted by her grandmother and a matchmaker with attempts to link her to a steadfast pickle vendor. The success of a production depends on the skill and charisma of the actors playing these five deftly delineated characters. In this, Lionheart’s production is only partly successful.

Marla Krohn and Shelley Barnett are cast to perfection as the grandmother and matchmaker, respectively. Their natural charm comes through in spades, tinged with just the right amount of character-driven humor, at which they’re both masters. Davin Allen Grindstaff is also magnificent, imbuing suitor Sam with deep sincerity and true, sweet emotion that make us want to root for him. Kit Vaupel and Adam Vann are attractive, personable, and very well-spoken as the young woman and the famous writer, but director Raleigh Wade hasn’t inspired them to break through as their characters. That’s particularly true in a fantasy sequence that should be bright and heightened, but instead is played as low-key in dim red light.

The physical production is fine. Gary White’s lighting design, aside from that dim red scene, creates warm areas of light in which action takes place. Brooke Bishop Wade’s costumes work well, with an oversized overcoat for Izzy foreshadowing the oversized suit Sam will later appear in. Props, by Amy Szymanski and Teresita Edwards, give a lived-in quality to the set designed by Raleigh Wade, Ms. Szymanski, and Tanya Caldwell. The set itself delineates three separate spaces: Bubbie’s kitchen stage right, the bookstore stage left, and a park bench down center in front of the stage. Other locations are indicated subtly. Scene changes aren’t typically very long, perhaps accounting for the inconsistent use of scene-change music in Bob Peterson’s sound design.

"Crossing Delancey" contains a fair amount of narration by the main character of Isabelle (or Izzy). Director Raleigh Wade hasn’t blocked the narration sequences in a consistent style that makes them pop out as separate from the action of the play. That keeps Izzy a bit distant from us and doesn’t provide the character with a strong audience connection. Otherwise, blocking allows the action to be clearly visible throughout.

Without a strong, plot-driven through-line, "Crossing Delancey" depends on charm alone to carry it from start to finish. It’s a short two-act play, and Lionheart’s production does nothing to stretch it out with extraneous bits or moments. There doesn’t appear to be a strong directorial touch to the production, relying instead on the natural charm and ability of its actors to sell the story. It’s pleasant enough, in its own way, but not fully engaging. "Crossing Delancey" has the feel of a memory play, and the memory of this production may fade over time. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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