Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast

Stalking the Bogeyman
Florida Studio Theatre
Review by William S. Oser | Season Schedule

Also see Bill's reviews of Little Shop of Horrors and A View from the Bridge


David Perez-Ribada
Photo by Matthew Holler
Florida Studio Theatre is reactivating its dormant Stage II series this season. The opening production, Stalking the Bogeyman, adapted by Markus Potter and David Holthouse from Holthouse's memories, packs a wallop. The subject, childhood sexual abuse, is of particular interest to me because I spent 15 years working in child protection, where many of the parents and an equal number of the children had experienced this trauma. This play is very honest and also graphic. I believe it is the best depiction I have ever seen of the subject.

It seems that once, perhaps twice, each season I see a performance that I know is going to remain in my memory for that year. David Perez-Ribada as David Holthouse is unquestionably one of those performances for this season. Perez-Ribada is asked to play David as a man damaged by all the baggage he carries, as a 7-year-old when the rape that drives the entire play occurs, and for short periods as a somewhat older child. At each stage of his life, Perez-Ribada's David is vividly drawn. I was totally mesmerized right from the start. He is surrounded by five other actors who all support his magnificent performance: Michael Stewart Allen as Bogeyman; Kate Hampton and Andy Prosky as David's parents; Todd Licea as Russ Crawford and a couple of cameo roles; and Katherine Michelle Tanner as Carol Crawford and a drug dealer named Molly. All do terrific work.

Stalking the Bogeyman is brilliantly directed by Jason Cannon who two years ago gave a performance in a play called Dancing Lessons that stood out as a memorable leading performance in that season. He is one very talented man. The scenic design by Bruce Price is very basic: two chairs, a table, and at the back a steel wire rack with props that are used during the action and a few just to help set the scene. This allows the audience to concentrate on the horrors of the narrative. Costumes by Susan Angermann and lighting by Ryan Finzelber, in a busman's holiday from his regular gigs at Urbanite Theatre and freeFall Theatre, are effective. Everything comes together to make this production unforgettable theater.

Stalking the Bogeyman may be too intense for some people; I definitely would not recommend it for children under 16, but for all others I would say it is not to be missed.

Florida Studio Theatre presents Stalking the Bogeyman through January 20, 2017, at the Gompertz Theatre 1241 N. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. For tickets and performance information, please call the box office at (941) 366-9000 or visit www.floridastudiotheatre.org.

Cast (in alphabetical order):
Bogeyman: Michael Stewart Allen*
Nancy Holthouse: Kate Hampton*
Russ Crawford: Todd Licea*
Robert Holthouse: Andy Prosky*
David Holthouse: David Perez-Ribada*
Carol Crawford/Molly: Katherine Michelle Tanner*
*=Member of Actors' Equity Association

Directed by Jason Cannon
Scenic Designer: Bruce Price
Costume Designer: Susan Angermann
Lighting Designer: Ryan Finzelber
Stage Manager: Stephen M. Ray, Jr.*


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