‘Take A Bow’ Part 2 in Philadelphia: Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Favorite Spring/Summer 2016 Performances

Here is Part 2 of the Philadelphia staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ favorite performances in Spring and Summer of 2016. To all our honorees – TAKE A BOW!

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 Amanda Schoonover as Dorine in Tartuffe at Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company.

Amanda Schoonover in Tartuffe. Photo by Andy Hazeltine.

Amanda Schoonover in Tartuffe. Photo by Andy Hazeltine.

Reset in the 1980s, Amanda Schoonover brought an uncompromising post-modern feminist attitude to the forthright housemaid Dorine in Molière’s 17th-Century French comedy. Her hilarious portrayal of the no-nonsense character was appropriately tough, sharp-witted, and perceptive, serving as a surrogate for the audience in recognizing the corruption and hypocrisy of the others through her expressive voice, exasperated facial expressions, and meaningful body language.

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Amanda Jill Robinson as Amy in The Magnus Effect at The Greenfield Collective.

Amanda Jill Robinson (center) in 'The Magnus Effect.' Photo by Dave Garrett Sarrafian.

Amanda Jill Robinson (center) in ‘The Magnus Effect.’ Photo by Dave Garrett Sarrafian.

In the role of an aviophobe who also suffered from a severe case of OCD manifested in an obsession with numbers, Amanda Jill Robinson portrayed the symptoms and behavior of her character with gentle humor, sensitivity, and empathy. Over the course of the intimate one-hour show, she believably developed her anxiety-ridden member of a talk-therapy group from a timid socially inept loner into a more comfortable celebrant of life through her new network of support and friendship.

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J.J. Van Name as Abbess in The Comedy of Errors at Delaware Shakespeare Festival.

Eleanor Handley in 'Blithe Spirit.' Photo by Lee A. Butz.

J.J. Van Name in ‘The Comedy of Errors.’ Photo courtesy of the artist.

Along with her superb text coaching of the cast, J.J. Van Name delivered a tone of Shakespearean dignity, eloquence, and decorum to the madcap comedy in her role of the Abbess. Although the part is small, it is pivotal, and requires a mature and knowledgeable performer to tie up all of the loose ends of the improbable narrative. She did it with aplomb, and with her usual comprehension and mastery of The Bard’s work.

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Eleanor Handley as Elvira in Blithe Spirit at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

Eleanor Handley in 'Blithe Spirit.' Photo by Lee A. Butz.

Eleanor Handley in ‘Blithe Spirit.’ Photo by Lee A. Butz.

As the titular ghost in Noël Coward’s whimsical British comedy, Eleanor Handley’s mischievous Elvira was a vision, floating around the room, draping herself on the furniture, and delighting in the chaos she caused between her widower Charles and his current wife Ruth. As advertised, her portrayal was both blithe and spirited!

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Christina Higgins as Jo at Little Women at Victorian Theatre at Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.

Christina Higgins (with Brian Weiser) in 'Little Women.' Photo by Rowland Hetrick.

Christina Higgins (with Brian Weiser) in ‘Little Women.’ Photo by Rowland Hetrick.

Author Louisa May Alcott’s alter-ego—the outspoken tomboy, budding writer, and proto-feminist Jo—was portrayed with conviction by the captivating Christina Higgins. Serving as narrator of the site-specific production, she directly addressed the audience between nostalgic vignettes that she re-enacted with members of the ensemble, while stressing the old-fashioned Victorian values of familial bonds and friendship, and the ideals of love, kindness, generosity, and understanding. She fully embodied the character and her era, bringing all the “humor and pathos” to her coming-of-age role.

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Jennifer Zellers as Morticia in The Addams Family at Ritz Theatre Company.

Jennifer Zellers (with Joe Carlucci) in 'The Addams Family.' Photo by Chris Miller.

Jennifer Zellers (with Joe Carlucci) in ‘The Addams Family.’ Photo by Chris Miller.

Jennifer Zellers was a knockout as the darkly seductive Morticia, moving around the stage with enticing grace, dancing a passionate tango with her husband, and capturing all of the quirky allure of her role. Creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky, her portrayal of the morbid wife and mother had it all!

LINKS:
‘Take A Bow’ Part 1 in Philadelphia: Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Favorite Spring/Summer 2016 Performances by Deb Miller.

 ‘Take A Bow’ Part 2 in Philadelphia: Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Favorite Spring/Summer 2016 Performances by Deb Miller.

‘Take A Bow’ Part 1: The Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Favorite Spring/Summer 2016 Performances in DC/MD/VA.

‘Take A Bow’ Part 2: The Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Favorite Spring/Summer 2016 Performances in DC/MD/VA.

‘Take A Bow’ Part 3: The Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Favorite Spring/Summer 2016 Performances in DC/MD/VA.

‘Take A Bow’ Part 4: The Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Favorite Spring/Summer 2016 Performances in DC/MD/VA.

‘Take A Bow’ Part 5: The Staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Favorite Spring/Summer 2016 Performances in DC/MD/VA.

NOTE:
These choices are not inclusive of shows that were Barrymore eligible during Deb Miller’s tenure as a Barrymore judge.

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