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Play On
a Comedy
by Rick Abbot

COMPANY : Kudzu Playhouse [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Kudzu Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 1521

SHOWING : March 03, 2006 - April 18, 2006



A behind the scenes comedy in the tradition of Noises Off. A theatre group is trying desperately to put on a play in spite of the maddening interference from a haughty authoress who keeps revising the script. It takes place in three acts. Act one is a rehearsal four days before opening night. Act two is the last dress rehearsal. Act three is the opening night of the play.

Cast Lane Teilhaber
Lights/Sound David Campion
Assistant Director Bronwyn Glantzberg
Stage Manager Melissa Michele Goodfellow
Assistant Stage Manager Karen Rooker
Smitty Kim Burdges
Phyllis Peggy Davis
Louise Amy Dell
Polly Jeannie Hinds
Violet Renee Locher
Henry Brink Miller
Stacy Stacy Padgett
Billy Clint Pridgen
Agnus Mary Ritenour
Saul Ned Thurman
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


I think I wet my pants…
by line!
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Someone once posted a comment on this website that called those who attend Atlanta’s local community theatre productions an incestuous family of actors, directors, writers and wannabes. If that’s the case, then Kudzu’s current production of “Play On” is perfect for the whole family!

This show features bad acting, lame accents, poor timing, clumsy blocking, missed sound and light cues, incomplete sets, ill fitting costumes, horrifically bad makeup, malfunctioning props, divas, smart-asses, dumb-asses, fat-asses and incredibly bad writing!

And those are the good parts!

I mean it. Those ARE the good parts! This show is so damn funny because it lays bare all the worst of community theatre, and does so with a broad comedic flair that would even make Mel Brooks say, “Enough already! I can’t breathe!” Honestly, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time. And it wasn’t just me. The entire audience was in tears! Kids! Old Ladies! Students! Teachers! Baptists! Catholics! Atheists! Saints! Sinners! (And yes, even the actors, directors, writers and wannabes were laughing too!)

The show is about a small community theatre group putting on an original production because they can’t afford to pay royalties and the novice writer of their murder mystery script is willing to waive royalties for a public performance of her most precious work (sound familiar to anyone out there?). Unfortunately, the writer keeps making revisions to the script right up to opening night (never actually happens in real life, eh?).

The actors in this production form a strong cast! The good actors do as wonderful a job of bad acting as do the bad actors. In fact, I couldn’t tell the difference between who was acting badly, and who was badly acting! For this play, “You Suck!” is a compliment!

And since we are all part of an incestuous family, I would like to single out a few of my relatives...My Uncle Brink Miller (Henry) is at his best when he is at his worst. My Aunt Jeannie Hinds (Polly) proves that there are no small parts for big actors. My step-brother Ned Thurman (Saul) is a true shooting star; he not only shot his mouth off during the show, he downed a couple of shots, AND fired a shot! My nephew Clint Pridgen (Billy) gives a totally new meaning to the term “Poser”. My niece Renee Locher (Violet) is living proof that a good looking woman in a bad wig is still harder to look at than a good looking woman. My Grandma Peggy Davis (Phyllis) should be arrested and sent to prison for stealing the show. My sister-in-law Kim Burdges (Smitty) proves that Biology is only skin deep, but theatre goes straight to the bone. My cousin Mary Ritenour (Aggie) fails to manage the stage that manages to stage her failings. My adopted cousin Amy Dell (Louise) has a hammer and will, indeed, hammer all over this land! My half-sister (and Prom date) Stacy Padgett (Gerry) will next try her hand at directing traffic, after her near-death experience of directing community theatre.

David Campion (who is not technically my Cousin) is my “Tech” Cousin and did a magnificent job of doing everything completely wrong. To the rest of the crew, you guys and gals are all family to me and you all did a great job of putting together a really enjoyable production of really bad community theatre!

Directing this type of show must have been maddening (“No, No, No! You’re doing it all right! Do it wrong!”), but my second cousin, twice removed, Lane Teilhaber has done an impressive job! He clearly understood what was needed to make the show work. His bits of business, funny blocking, and “special” added details (like the program for the play within the play) make the show funnier than what the script calls for! If I wasn’t already related to him, I’d have to adopt him as my long lost little brother!

It is not a perfect production by any means, but it is most definitely a funny, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable one! You really should go see this one! (and bring a family member too)
thanks by Arimosa
this made me laugh, in a good way though!

hmm... by Ellexim
Well, I do want to give a "thanks" to Rial, yet a question to "arimosa".

Are you a different Karen, or perhaps identifiably confused?
I laughed the whole way through
by tylers
Sunday, March 5, 2006
Well this was certainly a comedy that caught me by suprise. It is one of those that when you read it you think, "well maybe that will be good," but when you see it on stage it is a riot. While there were a few things that I thought could have been different it was still, by far, one of the best/funniest comedies I have seen in quite a while.

Now to the cast...

Brink Miller (Henry Benish/Lord Dudley) Mr. Miller, as usual, protrayed a well defined character. His interactions with the cast, especially with Jeannie Hinds who played his wife, were very believable. The only thing I would have liked to have seen from him would be a greater emotional shift in the third act when everything goes... well for lack of a better phrase... "to hell in a hand basket."

Jeannie Hinds (Polly Benish/Lady Margaret) Having not seen Mrs. Hinds on stage in many years, "Rumors" in 98 I believe was the last, I was very pleased to see her on stage again. The interaction between her and her on stage husband was tangable and believable, no doubt their long "real life" friendship easly translated to the stage. She hand wonderful facial characteristics (Loved the stare DS!!!!) throughout the show, however, her volume on stage could have been better as there were times that I had trouble hearing her. I also felt she missed a few opportunities to have "Diva Moments" as the Matriarch of "The Roswell Players," especially in the third act.

Ned Thurman (Saul Watson/ Dr. Rex Forbes) I loved this character. Mr. Thurman, much like Mr. Pridgen, did a wondreful job in creating 2 seperate characters to portray. His "evil doctor" was perfect. All he needed was a few test tubes and some dry ice and he could have been planning to take over the world.

Clint Pridgen (Billy Carewe/Stephen Sellers) As I mentioned above Mr. Pridgen created two very different characters. His facial movements were terrific and his VPS superb.

Rennee Locher (Violet Imbry/Diana Lassiter) I enjoyed Ms. Locher as Violet, however, I think she could have done more as Diana. To me she didn't do enough to make 2 seperate people. Perhaps playing the later a bit more "clueless" would have been a better choice for my taste.

Kim Burdges (Smitty/Dorris) While this is an ensemble piece I believe Ms. Burdges took one of the smaller characters and really did something with it. She stood out when she was on stage and I loved the fact that she was in character the whole time, even when the action was no where near her.

Stacey Padgett (Stacy/Director) This was a character that I believe really could have gone farther. In the beginning I liked the character but as the play prgressed she was the most calm director I have ever seen. To me the comedy was missed when, in the second and third act, she didn't start having the mental break down she so rightly deserved.

Mary Ritenor (Agnus) I loved Mrs. Ritenor as this character. Having worked with her myself she protrayed this very true to life. The only thing I will say about her is that I believe she looked to good for the part. Meaning she had perfect hair and beautiful makeup. I have never had a stage manager that looked that good, especially when things are going so wrong.

Amy Dell (Louise) Humm... Well Ms. Dell was very funny but to me she was a bit to characturish. Seeing that all the other actors were characturish on purpose while portraying the play with in the play I can see how this would be easy to do, but, none the less it stood out in a way that I don't believe it should have.

Peggy Davis (Phyllis) To me this character was the stand out of the show. I have known sooooo many playwrights who were JUST LIKE THIS!!! Mrs. Davis portrayed "full of my self" perfectly and I simply loved her tip-toeing back and forth in the third act.

To summerize this was a great show. The only major "flaw" I believe is with the script. Rick Abbot kinda beat some jokes to death, IE the coffee, and I believe the third act peaked a little to soon. Where it should have been an arc it was more like a plateau. This to me was of no fault of the actors or director. It was just too much to early. That being said I HIGHLY recommend this show as I have not laughed that hard in a long time.



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