Fells Point Corner Theatre presents a wonderful production of A.R. Gurney’s Public Affairs, which encompasses two of his one act plays – The Love Course and The Open Meeting.
In “The Love Course”- imagine taking a college course on love. Even better, one taught by the duo of a man and woman who aren’t in a relationship.
The Open Meeting begins as a public meeting that soon turns into a mystery. Hmmmm.
Both call for great moments of extreme conflict that surprisingly also call for chuckles of laughter. How can pure havoc also be humorous? How can a cast of so few, entertain in such a big way?
Director Lynda McClary took this difficult task, yet conquered it through perfect casting and directing. She utilized the entire theatre to take us through the journeys. Scenes smoothly moved from the stage, to the stairs, to the exit door, which kept me thoroughly captivated. The actors’ interaction felt honest. The storylines were slightly difficult for me to follow, however McClary took the eccentric storylines and brought them to life with big movement.
Andrea Bush, who played Professor Carroway, the “love sick” professor in The Love Course, is no stranger to the stage and delivers a tour de force performance. Her character lived, and ate, and breathed breath love, and felt that no action was too great to make her message of love stand true. This caused a huge conflict for her male co-professor, and her students. Her passion and emotions felt genuine, and her physical reactions were priceless.
Cherie Weinert portrayed Verna in The Open Meeting, and she too commanded the stage. Her role was crucial as the scene’s public meeting fell apart before our eyes.
Tony Colavito (Professor Burgess and Roy) had big shoes to fill, playing opposite two strong female counterparts, but held his own just as a veteran actor would. Playing the male half of the love professor duo in The Love Course, and Roy, a 50ish year old who unknowingly finds himself attending a meeting that turns in a mystery in The Open Meeting. He impressively transferred during intermission completely from one character to the next between the two acts.
My favorite was Caroline Kiebach, who played Sally in The Love Course , is a college student so hungry to experience love that she blindly soaks in everything her female professor dishes out, no matter how crazy. Kiebach met Bush’s level of intensity in their duet scenes, which was magnetizing. She was authentic and enjoyable. She embraced her character like the love that she sought.
McClary also created the appealing set. It was simplistic and effectively allowed the main attention to stay focused on the actors. Her design was heightened with the lighting and sound design by Wally Lodolinski and Richard Dean Stover.
Looking for a thought-provoking, humorous, and drama-filled experience in the theater? Then Fells Point Corner Theatre has the perfect show for you, and it’s called Public Affairs.
Running Time: About 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission.
*There will be no performance on Sunday, October 5, 2014, due to the Fells Point Fun Festival.