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Bus Stop
a Comedy/Drama
CATEGORY :
by William Inge

COMPANY : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 1800

SHOWING : January 26, 2007 - February 18, 2007

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A lot can happen in a single snowbound night. At least, that is what William Inge is able to convince us of in this American classic. A cowboy can lose his belligerence. A young girl can learn of romance from an unexpected source. A nightclub chanteuse can discover domesticity and even the owner of a roadside diner and a bus driver can find a touch of romance. At least, all these things can happen until the snow is blown away, leaving us to wonder how many of these changes will stick.


CAST & CREW LIST
Artistic Director Robert Egizio
Ass't Director George Canady
Director Barbara Cole Uterhardt
Sound Design Dan Bauman
Lighting Design Tom Gillespie
Production Manager Courtney Loner
Stage Manager Brian Porter
Scenic Design Chuck Welcome
Carl Douglas Curlin
Will Luke Dreiling
Dr. Lyman Rial Ellsworth
Elma Bethany Anne Lind
Virgil DeWayne Morgan
Bo Justin Sims
Grace Karen Whitaker
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Good show!
by blueboy
Saturday, February 17, 2007
4.0
I have to say I think that, while a fantastic piece of work, with plenty of material that can provoke thought, this is one of my least favorite Inge plays, because nothing really happens. Which isn't unusual for him. But I thought the production was fantastic. I went to see it because I've seen other Cole-Uterhardt productions and have loved them.

The cast is good. To me, the standouts were Luke Dreiling, Karen Whitaker, and Bethany Lind. Dreiling commands your attention when he's on stage, and I find that I don't mind watching him. I found myself missing him during that long stretch in the middle. He just seems to be excited to be doing his craft, and I honestly can't wait to see more of him. Comments about his pacing at the beginning? It's a slow beginning, but everyone's enthusiastic, so I didn't see this as a problem. Ms. Whitaker, great as always, is just fantastic in this role. She cracks me up, and the subleties of some of her choices are fantastic. And Lind is just spot on. I can't say enough. Just wonderful.

Leeana Lambert and Justin Sims were just fine, I couldn't find fault with their performances, but they didn't really draw me in the way Dreiling and Whitaker do, and they didn't charm me the way Lind did.

The weakest links to me were Doug Curlin, Rial Ellsworth, and Dewayne Morgan, the strongest being Ellsworth. There was no subtlety to his performance. I never felt creeped out by his attention, and there was no progression of intoxication. Difficult to play, I know, but it can be done. Ellsworth seems to have no control over his voice, because every line is delivered at high volume, which could account for his lack of range.

Doug Curlin, and I have seen him many times, is merely passable. He never takes chances with his acting. The part of Carl has very overtly sexual dialogue, and I never felt it coming from him. One could argue that since the lines are so sexual, they shouldn't be played that way, but I just don't see Curlin as a nuanced actor capable of doing that on purpose.

DeWayne Morgan's Virgil is simply a wisp. I understand that entire papers have been written about Virgil and what he's doing in the play, but it seems that DeWayne is purposely letting himself blend into the wallpaper. I've seen him in other shows, and he's always fine, but he just doesn't seem like he's even trying.

That all said, the show is good, and engaging, and I think that Barbara Cole-Uterhardt did a great job. I think that she should be proud. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Correction by blueboy
Regarding my comments on Mr. Dreiling's "pacing at the beginning," I mean that the play's pacing is slow at the beginning. I don't feel that his pacing is faulty.
Flawed Classic
by Bacchus
Thursday, February 15, 2007
3.0
  My expectations were high for Bus Stop at Stage Door: High due to the Artistic Director's terrific track record; high because of the past accomplishments of Barbara Cole, the director; high for the craftsmanship Chuck Welcome is known for.
  Sometimes it's when my expectations are high when I become most dissapointed. Such as it is with Bus Stop, as the flaws are many. Lost is the rich texture and deep characterizations inherit in William Inge’s classic script. The cast is perfectly suitable, although they certainly are not at the level of past Stage Door productions. Ms. Cole's direction is adequate, but it certainly is not compelling, and at times its plain melancholy. Then there is the set: Although fine by usual community theater standards, it is not what I have come to expect from Mr. Welcome.
  The leads, Justin Sims and LeAnna Lambert, take time getting use to. By the end of the evening, they give just strong enough performances to be embraced by the audience. Although their charactorizations are not as complex as Ingle probably intended, the two are adequate enough for the script to come alive.
  Bo's sidekick Virgil Blessing is intelligently played by Dewayne Morgan, an actor who gives a rich, low-key interpretation more in line with my expectations. Equally impressive is Karen Whitaker as Grace, the owner of a diner who provides momentary shelter to an odd collection of travelers trapped by a snowstorm.
  Among the other cast members, there is plenty left to be desired. Dr. Lyman is more theatrical than needed, although actor Rial Elsworth at times demonstrates some fine complexity. However, as Mr. Elsworth has the tendency to butcher his lines like a runaway lawnmower, he is a diamond in the rough. The under aged Elma is even less convincing, both physically and through odd character choices such as her response to the professor's inappropriate advances.
  Despite its flaws, I do believe this staging of William Inge’s classic deserves our attention. Inge, one of America's premiere playwrights of the last century, brings a warm-hearted compassion and appreciation of average humanity to the stage that is both touching and stimulating. Stage Door barely succeeds with this in their mounting of Bus Stop. Good, but I expected more. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Reccomend it!
by Dnc1ngQueen
Saturday, February 10, 2007
5.0
I saw Bus Stop the other day and was very excited. The cast was amazing, especially the girl who played Alma and the guy who played Virgil. They both had little moments that really brought their characters to life. I have to say that the guy who played Tim had forgotten a couple of his lines in the beggining, but recovered quickly. The man who played the professor was absolutly brilliant. But I do have to ask, "Where is he from?" because in the beginning he sounded british, and then moved to a boston accent later on. Just one little detail. Overall the show was very entertaining, and I liked the intamacy of the theatre. 5 stars from me. Over and Out. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Question... by Iamawesome
Who's Tim?
Sorry! by Dnc1ngQueen
I meant Will. I said Tim, but I meant Will. I have no idea...
Get on the Bus
by EKFricke
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
NR
Ah love! It’s like being in a cozy diner when there’s a storm a-brewin’ outside, or is it more like being caught in the cold? William Inge’s “Bus Stop” at Stage Door Players centers on love in all its messy forms: unrequited, selfless, immature, predatory, naďve. “Bus Stop” asks the question “Can love triumph?” And, as with all my favorite plays, it provides no easy answers.

When I first found that I had two friends in this show (Rial & Doug, holla!) I convinced the guy I’m seeing that he should take me up to Dunwoody for dinner & the theater. Despite the fact that dinner ended up being at Moe’s (in Dunwoody you need reservations, even at 6:30pm, who knew?) we ended up having a romantic time because of the play.

Barbara Cole’s direction of this show was very nicely done. I especially liked how she handled the overlapping dialog. When the actors were on point with it, it was like listening to a well-rehearsed orchestra – and each “section” of dialog flowed into the other without stealing focus. Another small touch that I liked (I’m big on the little things), is that whenever the front door of the diner opened the characters nearby would give a little shiver. It really helped bring the “cold” air into the story.

There were a few small things that I would have tweaked, however. For example, more than one time, when Cherie was “molested” by the cowboy she goes and sits calmly back down on her barstool. This didn’t seem to be the strongest choice to me – it seemed to really make Bo less menacing. Perhaps we’re never really *meant* to believe that he is an actual threat? Also, at some points the pacing was a bit slow – like when Will first makes his entrance. It almost seemed as if he wasn’t steady on his lines (however, to his credit, he picked up the pace for the rest of the show, so perhaps it was just nerves).

The acting was solid all around, but my especial favorites were all the women (tried to pick a favorite, but they were all so talented) and DeWayne Morgan as Virgil. To my mind, the plot of the play revolved around the women and Ms. Cole cast some exceptional ladies. DeWayne’s Virgil was eloquence in understatement. His quietly un-showy performance lent the play its emotional resonance in the final scene. Virgil huddled against the cold waiting for the next bus…it’s a haunting last image: one not soon forgotten.

William Inge’s “Bus Stop” shows that people can learn; they can evolve; they make mistakes and they are fallible. There’s a sadness to love but there is also hope. There’s a joy but there is also a profound loneliness. That’s the paradox of the paradigm of love. That’s truth - in its most unadorned packaging. That's "Bus Stop" at Stage Door.
[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Was there a change in the cast? by Okely Dokely
Wasn't Charles Green originally Dr. Lyman? I saw that Rial got promoted to Dr. Lyman. He was originally somebody else who I can't remember.
re: Cast Change by line!
Right you are sir! I was originally cast as Carl (the Bus Driver) and Charles Green was cast as Dr Lyman (the alcoholic former professor who likes the little girls). From what I understand, Mr. Green had a scheduling conflict and had to drop out, so Barbara Cole (our director) kindly offered me the role of Lyman (which took me about 2 seconds to accept!) and brought in the delightful and talented Mr. Doug Curlin as Carl. Though I don't drink and only find children mildly amusing, I am really enjoying the role. Its a challenging part and my primary scene partner (Bethany Lind) is an awesome actor, so it keeps me on my toes. Hope you will get a chance to come see us. It really is a good show.
-Rial


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