Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern

Under the Bed

Ben Hammer, Rosemary Prinz, Sylvia Kauders and Margery Beddow
The Caldwell Theatre presents the world premiere of Under The Bed by Susan Sandler. Following its premiere reading at the 92nd Street Y starring Olympia Dukakis, Under The Bed was workshopped in 2005 at HB Playwrights Foundation, where it received a nomination for Newsday's Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play.

Prolific playwright and screenwriter Susan Sandler is also the author of the Crossing Delancey (Warner Bros. film), Friends At Last (Hallmark TV film), and the plays The Renovation, If I Were A Train, Tots, The Burial Society, The Moaner, Kinfolks & Mountain Music, and The Hokey-Pokey, among others. She currently teaches screenwriting at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Under The Bed is a collection of seven short stories about the lives of retirees relocated to Palm Beach County. From the aerobics instructor in the morning-after throes of a new relationship, to a wealthy widow's reminiscences of her ill male companion, these characters are funny, energetic, passionate and touching. The author's message is that life is to be reveled in at any age, forever remaining full of surprises that are both joyful and challenging. The message is wisely delivered in a setting such as South Florida, heavily populated with retirees who continue to try to live life to the fullest.

The show is enjoyable and well acted. The set is perfectly Floridian with muted pinks and blues, palm trees and blue skies. And each of the actors effectively plays multiple roles. Other than the fact that the scene "My Tony" is a little long and "Under The Bed" is too short, the only flaw is the lack of any thematic tie-in at the end. The closing group scene with its repeated references to light seems to come from nowhere.

Margery Beddow is full of charm as the widow on the gambling boat, the bride-to-be, and as the aerobics instructor in "Chair Work." Rosemary Prinz is especially compelling in the dramatic "My Tony." Sylvia Kauders is crotchety as the condo owner protecting her parking spot in "The Spot." Ben Hammer is good in "The Lovely Just So" and "Under The Bed", and seems to enjoy playing the only male object of affection throughout this piece.

Under The Bed will be presented at The Caldwell Theatre through April 2, 2006. For tickets to this and other shows, contact the Caldwell at 561-241-7432 or online at The Caldwell Theatre Company is a professional theatre company hiring local and non-local Equity and non-Equity actors. The theatre is located at 7873 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33487-1640 in the Levitz Plaza. Look for the theatre's proposed relocation to their new space in the near future.

Sylvia Kauders*
Ben Hammer*
Rosemary Prinz*
Margery Beddow*

Director: Michael Hall
Scenic Design: Tim Bennett
Lighting Design: Thomas Salzman
Sound Design: M. Anthony Reimer
Costumes: Erin Amico
Stage Manager: Jeffrey George*

Off-stage voice of Link employee: Kathleen Emrich

* Indicates member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actor's and Stage Managers. Sigvision Photography, Inc.

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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