Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast
American Stage Theater Company Presents An Ideal Husband
American Stage Theater Company is currently presenting Oscar Wilde's 1895 comedy An Ideal Husband in an adaption by Daniel Morris, in a co-production with Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Wellfleet Massachusetts. Morris's adaption makes it possible for four actors to play the eleven parts in the original play. The production is directed by American Stage Theater's artistic director, Todd Olson. The production at both theaters appears to be identical, including the same four actors. Wilde's play concerns itself with a politician who has a past indiscretion and one person who threatens to expose this past. It becomes very relevant to today's times when you consider the muckraking of the presidential primary season, the recent scandal at Penn State's Athletic Department, and other public scandals.
Amanda Collins and Lewis D. Wheeler
The four actors are able to do a convincing job portraying the four central characters, Sir Robert and Lady Chiltern, Lord Goring and Mrs. Cheveley. As they race back stage, make quick changes to portray the secondary characters, each one playing both men's and women's parts, they are not quite as successful. Sometimes it feels like a quick change Victorian farce such as Charley's Aunt (musicalized as Where's Charley?) rather than the drawing room comedy Wilde intended. Still, since most theaters today would find it financially difficult to field a cast of eleven, it is good to have this arresting play available and on the boards.
The beautiful, very colorful Victorian costumes by Anne Miggins, settings by Jiyoun Chang and the nimble backstage crew of Laura Fowler, Paige Gilley, Ty Massola and T. Scott Wooten are definite assets to this production. Todd Olson's direction keeps the comedy spritely and in period. An Ideal Husband is highly recommended.
American Stage Theater Company presents An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde through December 24, 2011, at the Raymond James Theatre, 163 3rd Street North in St. Petersburg. For ticket and performance information, visit americanstage.org.
Magdalyn Donnelly as Woman A (Mrs. Marchmont, Lord Caversham, Lady Chiltern, and Phipps)
Amanda Collins as Woman B (Mabel Chiltern, Mrs. Cheveley, Mason and Phipps)
Richard B. Watson as Man #1 (Lady Basildon, Sir Robert chiltern, Mason and Phipps)
Lewis D. Wheeler as Man #2 (Lady Markby, Lord Goring and Phipps)
Direction by Todd Olson
Set Design by Jiyoun Chang
Lighting Design by John R. Malinowski
Costume Design by Anne Miggins
Production Stage Manager by Karla Hartley
Sound Design by Andrew Hopson
Crew - Laura Fowler, Paige Gilley, Ty Massola and T. Scott Wooten.
Photo: Jeff Zinn
Be sure to Check the current schedule for theatre in West Coast Florida
See the current season schedule for West Coast Florida
--William S. Oser