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riotpoof [ALL REVIEWERS]
Companies Reviewed#
Neighborhood Playhouse1
Average Rating Given : 5.00000
Reviews in Last 6 months :

Bell, Book, and Candle, by John Van Druten
Well worth seeing!!
Sunday, October 17, 2004
When I first heard of this play, I thought, "why do such an obscure play?" Worse, I had seen the movie years ago, and really, wasn't all that impressed - typical washes of good guy struggles to make sense of his surreal world were apparent in this "classic" film. Yes, I know that the idea of "magic" played well into the hands of Halloween mischief this month, but why do this play? I have been moderately unimpressed by many modern dramatists ability to pursue the heartier themes of life without coming across as pretentious or missing the point entirely. Curious, I attended this play - and ... loved it. Truth be told, the set and costumes were as good as they can be within the parameters of the world of the play - its not like we are witnessing elaborately beaded outfits, or ingenious set devices ... my focus here is on the world of the play, the purpose for the play, the life - humor and obstacles of the characters. Why do this play? As hoakey as it sounds: because the play captures what the movie did not. Love is an elusive fellow - we are caught under its spell, we feel bewitched, we float through the euphoria of the feeling - then WHAM! - we get scared, we question, we fight it, we struggle with the reality (not the dream) of what that other person is, and question whether or not we can make it to the other side, whether or not we can deal with the obstacles, the meddling family, the fear, and more so the easy choices v. the hard choices. There are some awkward moments in which the play switches gears from scene to scene (could be handled with a good fade to black in film) - but otherwise, right on target. This is all going to sound like mumbo jumbo if you are not aware of the story line of this play ... Aside from a very decent theme and plot structure, I will say that the Life is breathed into this play by a talented team of actors. I buy that they are the characters. I look forward to what happens next, because of their commitment to the world of the play. And lest this becomes a Shep fansite - I agree with rollotomasi (good name!) - Jason Vaughn is superb. He has an air of effortless acting, relaxed, real, and electric. You feel for him, and start wondering why the world doesn't have more Shep's! Also agreed - Coco is a riot as Queenie. Can you say fun, fun, and fun?

Bottom Line: This play is a very good time. It will tickle your funny bone and tug at your heart. It was money well spent, in my opinion. But don't take my word for it. See it for yourself and let me know if you agree.

Murder at the Wake
by Jim Nelson
Main Street Theatre Tucker
Tam O Shanter: Celebrating Robert Burns
by Robert Burns
Falling off the Edge
by Paul Donnelly
Onion Man Productions
Tam O Shanter: Celebrating Robert Burns
by Robert Burns
And the Winner is Murder
by John Babcock
Agathas: A Taste of Mystery
Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
by Tony Kushner
Actor's Express
Dearly Beloved
by Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten
Marietta Theatre Company
Falling off the Edge
by Paul Donnelly
Onion Man Productions
Maytag Virgin
by Audrey Cefaly
Aurora Theatre
Midnight at the Masquerade
by The Murder Mystery Company
The Murder Mystery Company in Atlanta
Miss Nelson Is Missing!
by Joan Cushing
Georgia Ensemble Theatre

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