Review: ‘Jake’s Women’ at Rockville Little Theatre

Rockville Little Theater (RLT)’s production of Jake’s Women, written by Neil Simon, takes us through Jake’s (Keith Cassidy) emotional journey as he converses with his daughter, wife, sister, and current psychologist in his head in order to save his real life marriage. Directed by David Levin and produced by Ann Cary, Jake’s Women marks a strong start for Rockville Little Theatre’s first show of its sixty-ninth season.

Jake (Keith Cassidy) and Edith (Joy Gerst). Photo courtesy of Rockville Little Theatre.

Jake (Keith Cassidy) and Edith (Joy Gerst). Photo courtesy of Rockville Little Theatre. Photo by David Levin.

Jake’s Women follows Jake (Keith Cassidy), a detached writer with a tendency to play too many scenarios in his head, as begins to listen to the many women he imagines coming in and out of his apartment as they pick at the personality flaws that put his marriage in danger. Set in his apartment in New York City, the story kicks off as Jake confronts his wife (Jill Goodrich) about her intentions of ending their marriage. Like many of us, Jake imagines how would a conversation go about what was left unsaid. The play takes us deep into his head, sometimes in a comedic view, as he replays his favorite memories and explores the various scenarios that could never happen between characters as he, the writer, envisions them.

Keith Cassidy takes us through a wonderful journey of emotions as he embodies Jake through his happiest memories, the many funny moments, and his struggle to grasp to reality in order to save his marriage. Jill Goodrich carries well the role of a (current) second wife who is tired of living in the shadow of the first one.

The remarkable cast who play the different women in Jake’s life: Julie (Jennifer Dorsey);Molly (Amanda Wesley);Young Molly (Alexandra Julka); Edith (Joy Gerst); Karen (Debi Preston) and Sheila (Valerie Mikles) light up the stage with their fabulous chemistry, leading to many humorous and heartbreaking encounters.

Right under the spotlight, in the middle of the stage, we see Jake’s workspace. As seen through the course of the play, the writer in Jake subconsciously takes over by replaying events from the past and detaching him from reality. It’s only right to give his writing space center stage as Set Designer David Levin and Scenic Artist Maggie Modig designed. Properties Designer Liz Quinn, Lighting Designer Steve Deming, and Sound Designer Daniel Bentz keep it simple and effective. Costume Designer Sandy Eggleston was quite busy as there were several costume changes during the production.

In the end, Jake’s many women put into perspective his many flaws, but he needs to learn how to fix them, and ultimately how to turn those voices off, in Rockville Little Theatre’s entertaining production.

Running Time: Two hours and 30 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission.

Jake’s Women plays through October 9, 2016 at the Kreeger Auditorium in The Jewish Community Center – 6125 Montrose Road, in Rockville, MD. For tickets, purchase them at the door, call the box office at (240) 242-9735, or purchase them online.

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