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Dear Ruth, by Norman Krasna
Review from Alpharetta Beacon - "It's a must see."
Friday, March 12, 2010
Broadway Hit Comes to Alpharetta
You've come a long way, baby.
By Maggie West / Staff

You've come a long way, baby.

Dear Ruth debuted on Broadway in 1944. Three years later it made it to Hollywood, then Off Broadway, and now to the ACT1 Theater in Alpharetta. It stood the test of time. And ACT1's rendition was as delightful and witty as its predecessors.

This small playhouse, nestled beside the Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, has a warm and fuzzy atmosphere that extends past the inviting entrance, quaint seating arrangement and swathes of velvet over every doorway. It's charming.

As the play began, a hush fell over the small but spirited crowd.

The laughs were timed perfectly. And there are many in this play. It's difficult to choose one or two to mention. Though the pace of the production slows toward the end of the third act, it more than makes up for it by the fifth and final acts.

Dennis Barger's, as Harry Wilkins, and Keelie Hogan's, as Miriam Wilkins (his daughter), timely play off each other was flawlessly done. Both offered a stunning performance and received most of the laughs in the room. But the renowned pearl in the oyster was definitely Margaret Hollis as Doris. Her performance, though only a bit part, was quite entertaining.

The small proscenium stage was set in such a manner as to draw the audience into the action. With its furniture impeccably arranged to the very edges of the playing area, one felt as if he or she were part of the performance.

The lighting, however, was overstated. It lacked creativity as well: Day or night, the stage lights remained the same.

Overall, though, the audience experienced a spectacular performance by all.

So much so, that in the finale when the actors on stage simultaneously shouted "No" and the lights dimmed for the last time, the room was full of laughter.

It's a must see.

Dear Ruth runs from March 5 - March 27 at the ACT1 Theater on Academy Street in Alpharetta. For more information call (770) 663-8989 or visit their website

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