Talkin' Broadway Regional News & Reviews: Cleveland - "Ride" - 8/20/14
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CLEVELAND
Regional Reviews by David Ritchey

Ride
none too fragile theater


Alanna Romansky, Ireland Derry and Rachel Roberts
When I was in college, we talked about "road trips." In our road trip fantasies, we would drive to Cincinnati for a weekend or to a warm beach in Florida for a spring break.

A big road trip is the story of Eric Lane's Ride. Molly and Carrie work at a roadside vegetable market to earn money for college tuition. Molly's father has given her a new car and the girls decide to tryout the car on a road trip to Miami. (I don't know where the roadside market is located.) With Sam, Carrie's little sister, in tow, Molly and Carrie initiate the new car and their summer break by driving to Miami.

Molly has one goal—to meet the woman her father is having an affair with, who perhaps is responsible for the end of Molly's parents' marriage.

The three women drive a long distance—almost two hours, with intermission and scene changes. The scene breaks last much too long, with music providing a transition from one moment of angst to the next.

Unfortunately, this production is a waste of good talent. Lane's script seems haphazardly pasted together, without heart or soul. The characters make references to the movie Thelma and Louise, but evoking that film doesn't place Ride in the same category.

Carrie talks much too much about Anne Frank. The character's insights into the Anne Frank movie, museum and history are interesting, but seem not to be relevant to the Ride story.

I hate to see good talented wasted on a second-rate script. Lane has written several plays. Unfortunately, none has found public awareness.

Sean Derry (director) has once again done a first-rate job of directing. However, the script makes unnatural demands on director and cast. He has done a masterful job helping his actors work their way through the strange jig-saw puzzle of scenes.

I have enjoyed the work of Rachel Roberts (Molly) and Alanna Romansky (Carrie) in other productions. They are talented performers. But they don't make it as college-age girls working to earn tuition money. Ireland Derry (Sam) becomes her character. This seventh grader delivers one of the best performances I've seen in a while. She comes from an excellent theater family. Note that her father directed this production. She comes to the playing area with energy and a life that other performers will envy.

The problem in this production is the script. I believe a good cast and a good director cannot overcome the problems laid in their path by an unfortunate scrip choice.

Through August 30, 2014, at none too fragile theater in Akron, Ohio. Audience members gain entrance to the theater through Pub Bricco. For ticket information for Ride call 330-671-4563. For more information about the none too fragile theater check the web: nonetoofragile.com.

Playwright: Eric Lane
Sam: Ireland Derry
Molly: Rachel Roberts
Carrie: Alanna Romansky
Director: Sean Derry
Stage Manager: Brian Kenneth Armour


Photo: Brian Kenneth Armour

- David Ritchey



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