ITW: Five one-act treats
Friday night and every seat in the Katharine Cornell Theatre - although not nearly filled - is a good one. Islanders wave to each other across the aisles; people shift over to make room for this and that familiar face, and as the house lights lower, everyone settles for the first of the three weekend runs of Island Theatre Workshop's (ITW) Spring One Act Play Festival.
The evening is launched with flair - Frederick Stropel's "Package Deal," depicting the kiss-and-hug deceits between an actress, convincingly played by Abigail Southard, and her Hollywood agent, played by BeeBee Horowitz. Ms. Horowitz, who can elicit laughter with the simple arch of her eyebrow, is brilliant in her role as the quintessential agent. Drenched in maternal concern, she tells the actress, "You're past 30; nature is reclaiming you."
Photo by Ralph Stewart
"Androcles & the Lion," Bernard Shaw's fable, is made lively by Kevin Ryan (whose growls and howls manage to speak volumes), Gerry Yukevich, and Stephanie Burke.
It is followed by "Loyalties," a political drama played with authority by each member of its cast: Mark Shelton, Katharine Pilcher, Jill Macy, and Leslie J. Stark.
After a short intermission, the engaging Lee Fierro and the reliably masterful Don Lyons own the stage in "A Sunny Morning," which depicts the chance encounter of two people with a shared, but long lost history. Katharine Pilcher and Michael Gilman nicely complete the cast.
And the evening concludes with "Seeing Beyond," in which departed spirits are recalled by Fantasma, wonderfully played by Joyce Maxner. As the summoned spirit, Stephanie Burke creates havoc with Tom (Dan Larkosh) and his wife Becky (Julie Benoit), all of whom are a pleasure to watch.
This March evening should have been gift-wrapped; the impressive display of Island talent; the polished productions directed in turn by Kevin Ryan, Lee Fierro and Leslie J. Stark; and the warmth of the gathering on a quiet and chilly March night.
ITW's One Act Play Festival, Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven, tonight, March 26, and Friday, March 27, at 7:30 pm, and at 3 pm, Sunday, March 29. Admission $15. For information: 508-627-3166.