20th Century by Ken Ludwig
Dates and Venue 19 June - 17 July | Metro Theatre, Vancouver
Reviewer Ed Farolan
Ken Ludwig's adaptation of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's 1932 comedy started off cold and slow with not too many laughs, but it got screwballish and funnier in the second act. The role of the down on his luck Broadway producer Oscar Jaffe (Samuel Barnes) acted his role exceedingly well, with his egocentric gestures and eccentric mannerisms, while his blonde bombshell Lily Garland ) whom he transforms from a shop girl into a star, was played with panache by Caitlin Clugston, with all the mannerisms of how stars acted in the early part of the 20th century.
Although the actors seemed to come in cold in the beginning, they warmed up and got the audience laughing later on as the play progressed. The part of zany Matthew Clark (Darren Rathwell) who just came out of an insane asylum was well acted, and Ida Webb who plays the part of a scheming secretary fit the role well.
Gina Raye Young, Bren Lynne and Rob Gillespie who supported the main characters likewise delivered their parts with their fine acting.
Kudos to director Catheine Morrison who had been wanting to do this play but couldn't because it was still playing in Broadway. This is a fine way to end the season to end the 2009-10 season. Metro's 2010-11 proposed season will start off with Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs openng on August 28th.
© 2010 Ed Farolan