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Companies Reviewed#
Cumming Attractions Theatre Company1
Average Rating Given : 4.00000
Reviews in Last 6 months :

The Man Who Came to Dinner, by Kaufman & Hart
Worth the Trip!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
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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