I think acting is fun, as long as I can improvise and don’t have to work on memorizing all those fussy lines. So I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t audition for a role in Theatre 98’s new production of “This Day and Age,” because the dialog-rich play had lines flying back and forth between the actors like fuzzy balls at Wimbledon.
The modern-day play, written by Nagle Jackson, centers around a recently widowed woman whose grown children (unknown to each other) decide they want to return home to live. The mother, expertly played with a dry wit and opinionated style is played by beautiful Brenda Hedstrom.
The daughter Ann, is played by Kim Mckenzie, who is a ball of fire in real life, and lights up the stage with her hilarious facial expressions, rapid delivery of lines and an all-around smarty-pants attitude, fitting of her high-achieving character.
With only six cast members, the actors share the load of witty lines at the beginning, but as the action slows at the end, there are tender moments and a look at what life is really like for modern-day families, and those dealing with the loss of a spouse.
Is it really a good thing to be alone after having raised your children? Is the economy really all that bad for young families these days? Is it okay to talk to your dead husband when he appears to you wearing his swim-goggles? Is it okay to ask the costumer where this actress got her adorable fancy-pants?
For over thirty years, Theatre 98 has brought our community great plays and musicals in their small, intimate playhouse on the corner of Morphy Avenue and Church Street, which started out years ago as the sanctuary for First Baptist Church.
Remember, these photos are from the dress rehearsal, so the actual performances will have the audience sitting right on the edge of the three-quarter round stage, which electrifies the room. It’s a small theatre, with only 98 seats (but the theatre was actually named for local Hwy. 98, not the seating capacity. It’s just an amazing coincidence!) so people in town clamor for tickets the minute they become available.
This Day and Age is directed by John Heald and will play at Theatre 98 May 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17th. Think you can get there one of those days? Get up off that sofa and go have some fun! Performances are at 8pm except for Sunday matinees at 2:30pm.
Other Cast Members
Brian – John Shoulders: I’m not sure if his British accent was real or not, but it sounded fabulous and he was hilarious.
Tony – Brad Hare: The convincing laid-back slacker son, played so well, you want to give him a kick in the pants.
Joy – Jessica Lucassen: A professional, peaceful and poised presence in the fictional family and on the real stage.
The Man – Dean Nettles: The most opinionated (and funny) ghost since Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit.
For ticket information and to read more about the history of Theatre 98, click HERE.
I’d give this play a PG rating, with a couple of lines being PG-13, so it’s not for little tykes, but it’s all in context and brings naughty giggles, but no blushing.
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