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Washington DC by Tracy Lyon

If Only In My Dreams

Also see Tracy's reviews of A Christmas Carol, Crowns, and
The New York Realist

If Only In My Dreams
Lynn Audrey Neal, Patricia Hurley and Kathy Fuller
”You’ll Never Know,” “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” are all songs that conjure up images of a time long gone. However, American Century Theater is striving to bring back those days of war bond drives and fireside chats with their musical revue, If Only In My Dreams.

Conceived and adapted by Tom Fuller and TACT’s Co-founder and Artistic Director, Jack Marshall, If Only In My Dreams is a nostalgic piece about World War II, but given the fact that there are so many troops overseas during this holiday season, it could just as well be about the war in Iraq.

The piece is peppered with familiar holiday songs and old standards. The musical numbers include “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “White Christmas,” and of course “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (which is where the show gets its title), all woven into a string of war-related vignettes. The result is a nice piece of work. The songs are lovely and many of the stories are quite moving. Nonetheless, the piece could have benefited from some cutting.

The show is performed by an able cast. TACT alum Kim-Scott Miller is very enjoyable as a number of different characters, which include a mourning father and Winston Churchill. Kathryn Fuller, another TACT veteran, shows her versatility by playing an expectant mother and one of the Andrews Sisters. Lynn Audrey Neal is especially strong and delivers a terrific rendition of “They’re Either Too Old or Too Young.”

The set design by Marc A. Wright works well for the piece. The comfortable family room set on one side of the stage helps to tell many of the stories. The other side of the stage is quite sparse but it is effective during several dance sequences. Wright is also responsible for the lighting design and it does an excellent job of setting the mood. Additionally, Anita H. Miller’s costumes help to define the setting and time period.

If Only In My Dreams is a very good effort by TACT. Perhaps it is not spectacular or groundbreaking, but it makes for a very pleasant evening of theater. If Only In My Dreams runs through January 3rd at the Gunston II Theater in Arlington, Virginia.

American Century Theater
If Only In My Dreams
November 20th – January 3rd
Conceived and Adapted by Jack Marshall and Tom Fuller
Directed and Choreographed by Jacqueline Manger
The Gunston Arts Center, Theater II
2700 S. Lang Street
Arlington, VA 22206
Ticket Information: 703-553-8782 or www.americancentury.org

Cast List
Ensemble: Kathryn Fuller, Tony Gudell, Dan Herrel, Patricia Hurley, Kim-Scott Miller, Lynn Audrey Neal, David Ruffin, Anna Marie Sell. Voice of Santa: David Meyer


Photo: Jeff Bell


-- Tracy Lyon


Also see the Current Theatre Season Calendar for D.C.



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