Online + Print Syndicated Reviews of Theater in the Hudson Valley
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BY BRUCE APAR
When Bruce The Blog Watches… People Act!
Ridgefield Theater Barn Presents
AN EVENING OF ONE-ACT PLAYS
by C.J. Ehrlich, Ed Friedman, Pat Lennon, Ellie Martino, Ginny Reynolds, Bob Zaslow
With Kristen Aug, Chris Cenatiempo, Maya Jennings Daley, Lori Franzese, Elayne Gordon, Larry Greeley, Timothy Huber, Valerie Huegel, Daschel Knuff, Cathy Malloy, Kristi McKeever, Taffy Miller, Christine Mitchell-Robinson, C.J. Morsey, Matt Pagliaro, Eli Rose, Craig David Rosen, Stephen Ross, Chhanda Som, Emily Volpintesta, Kylie Wolff
Directed by Shawn Tyler Allen, Brian DeToma, David Fritsch, Nick Kaye, Nancy Ponturo, Erik Tonner, Alexis Vournazos,
Paulette Layton, Production Manager
Linda Seay, Stage Manager
Helen Hedemann, Backstage Manager
Mark Hankla, Lighting Manager
Carol Mark, Sound Coordinator
Bob Ottulich, Light Board Operator
Marie Ottulich, Sound Board Operator
120 minutes, not including 15-minute intermission
Through March 30, 2019
Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877
Order Tickets Online
$35 General; $28 Students + Seniors + Veterans
Short plays – typically running no longer than 15-20 minutes — are an increasingly popular format for local stages. Audiences favor them too. That was evident by the full house and enthusiastic reaction on display when I caught the eight entertaining pieces that form Ridgefield Theater Barn’s An Evening of One Act Plays. (This warm and welcoming venue has comfortable cabaret seating, so feel free to bring along your own eats and drinks.)
Part of the appeal of one-act productions is the variety of subject matter that fills the stage in a rapid-fire, two-hour span.
In this well-paced production, we witness the following…
- a lonely suburban mom looking for love in the wrong places
- a young man stumbling through the confessional as he stumbles through pubescence
- a hapless single guy with a lot of questions about love and marriage
- a young couple for whom love is poignantly color blind
- three sisters in a museum for whom art is much more than paintings on a wall
- a second-rate screenwriter concocting a slapdash scheme to land a second-rate actress for his next script, to the chagrin of his wife
- middle-age female lovers who have distinctly different recollections of how they met, which are re-enacted by younger versions of themselves, to hilarious effect
There’s a lot to take in and enjoy, by turns refreshing, illuminating, diverting, and just plain funny. What distinguishes this particular assemblage of otherwise unrelated playlets is a connective tissue in the form of blackout sketches, collectively titled Miss Match/Mismatch.
They are eight interstitial pieces sandwiched before and after each of the one-acts, featuring the same two actors: Emily Volpintesta and Chris Cenatiempo. He nimbly portrays a cross-section of Millennial types, all of whom are romancing her. It is a smart device, well-conceived and authored by Paulette Layton, that pulls the evening together nicely while providing the equivalent of a fine meal’s intermezzo that serves to cleanse the palate before the next course arrives.
Song segues also are used to good effect during the evening’s quick set changes. It all adds up to a top-notch production that shows off local writing and directing talent, and mixes the seasoned stage presence of veteran actors with the apprenticeship of young actors, who are to be encouraged for their hard work and worthy efforts.
Bruce “The Blog” Apar promotes local businesses, organizations, events and people through public relations agency APAR PR. He also is an actor, a community volunteer, and a contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce The Blog on social media. Reach him at email@example.com or 914.275.6887.