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Butterflies are Free
a Romantic Comedy
by Leonard Gershe

COMPANY : Old Alabama Road Company - A Community Theater [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Church of the Savior UCC
ID# 1467

SHOWING : February 09, 2006 - February 18, 2006



All Don Baker wants is a place of his own away from his over-protective mother. Don's been blind since birth, but that doesn't stop him from setting up in a San Francisco apartment and making the acquaintance of his off-the-wall, liberated, actress neighbor Jill. Don learns the kind of things from Jill that his mother would never have taught him and Jill learns from Don what growing up and being free is really all about. In this vintage romantic comedy, laugh and connect to this unique character triangle as they discover independence, commitment, love, and each other.

Producer David Beaudry
Director Chris Mayer
Set/Stage Construction Fran Beaudry
Set/Stage Construction Matthew Carter
Lights & Sound James "Duke" Deuschle
Publicity Carrie Fetter Shrader
Set/Stage Construction Jeff Shrader
House Manager Todd Zajac
Don Baker Jim Dailey
Jill Tanner Kallie Gay
Mrs. Baker Cheryl Rogers
Ralph Austin Jarroll White
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Hurry before the Butterflies are Free for good!
by The Gipper
Friday, February 17, 2006
In the interests of full disclosure, I know many of the people involved with this production. However, I am not a fan of the script. I went to the show to support the efforts of my friends - and am I glad I did. What I expected was a decent performance of a mediocre show. What I got was so much more.

This show had the two hallmarks of any top notch production - excellent direction and excellent performances. Any flaws in the set, lighting, etc. simply fade away when those two elements are solid. Chris Mayer directed this production with the skill of a professional - the pacing was perfect, the timing was excellent, and the characters multi-dimensional. The man is so good, he could make rednecks and wrestlers weep at a production of Steel Magnolias

The comedic lines, of which there were many, were delivered with seamless timing by everyone. The dramatic moments were both tender and sincere, really drawing you into the scene as if you were a fly on the wall. And the transitions between the two were smooth as silk.

Jim Dailey hits a home run as Don, the blind man living on his own for the first time. He sold me quickly that he was blind - a feat that must not have been easy to do. Great comedic timing, great expressions, great movement. He's both strong and vulnerable as he develops a new relationship with his eccentric, free-loving neighbor played by Kallie Gay. Kallie manages to bring the perfect mix of high strung energy and sensuality. She seems to get the better portion of the comedic lines, which she delivered with laser accuracy. Her only flaw was not anticipating the lengthy peals of laughter from the audience to her delivery and rushing too quickly to the next line. She's always bouncing about the stage, but it never feels forced - very natural for her character. Don's over-protective mother, played masterfully by Cheryl Rogers, manages to have us both love and hate her - and not necessarily in that order. Her banter with the other characters was sharp, funny, touching, and always in proportion to the moment. Of particular note is the strong performance of Jarroll White as Ralph Austin. His performance proves that there are no small parts, only small actors. His few minutes on stage are a delight. After you see him play the sleazy director, you'll wonder how anyone else could have done it. I could go on and on about the very strong performances (which I'm sure the actors would love!), but suffice to say I was very pleasantly surprised by such a strong ensemble presentation.

I toyed with whether or not to grade this a 4 or 5. While the show wasn't perfect (what show is?), its flaws were so minor that they almost do not merit mention. Trained eyes could spot that a few lines were dropped and recovered, but that is what makes theater so wonderful - actors flying without a net.

Many times I see local performances and wish I had not parted with my hard earned money. This performance was money well spent. An intimate space, a simple set, a powerful performance, and a master conductor pulling it together. Only one night left to enjoy this funny, touching production that should bring pride to the Old Alabama Road Company. Catch it while you can. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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