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Taking one for the team...

I went to see "It's Murder in the Wings" at Cumberland Players...

Let's take them in order: First, I saw Juliana Atkinson at the Box Office. It was great to see her (I especially enjoyed working with Juliana in "Twelfth Night"). Les treated me to my ticket today (thank you, Les). I got to usher with Emma Andrews (Michelle's mother).

Amongst the audience members were: Dina "Dingo" DeMauro and JoAnne Connor(!). During intermission, I hung out on the porch with Dina and it was great to be able to interact with her. Again, during intermission, Collin was wonderfully pleasant with me...(he was acting as Stage Manager in Rich's stead today).

Before the show, apparently one of the actors/stage crew arrived late. In the panic of whether they would have a dead body or not, Les asked if I would step in during act two if need be. As it turned out, it was unnecessary.

Okay, cast in order of appearance:

Natalie Suppi - Funny! She's a trooper...our girl. Jon Frankenfield and I were commenting on Friday about Natalie and how it was nice to see that she had truly blossomed into a woman (and wasn't just a GIRL anymore).

Alia Natale - she was funny, if a little flat. I feel bad for her, since she was just cast in the same role she played in the Fall show. Once you play the same role twice at Cumberland Players, that might as well be your death knoll... "Sorry, Alia, we don't have a ditz in this show...etc."

Melissa Hoffner - She's a really nice woman, but someone REALLY has to teach her the difference between delivering a line and ACTING! Please: someone, anyone, sit her down and make her do some CHARACTER WORK! I don't care if it's for a fluff character in a children's show or a cardboard comedic character in a farce...you must act as if you believe the situation...

which brings me to:

Anne Buckwheat - see, now Anne was funny because no matter how absurd the situation, you believed that SHE believed it. The best moments in the second act were driven by Anne and Todd...because they had each, within the confines of this silly script, created something approximating reality.

Thomas Suthard - Again, like with Alia, I think that Tom has played this guy a few too many times...wasn't this the same guy (and the same suit) from "Moon Over Buffalo"? I KNOW Tom can be funny...I've seen him do much better in both "Taming of the Shrew" and "The Murder Room" (amongst others).

Joyce Maxwell - thank you so much for taking the character of Max and bringing new life to him as a her (Maxie)...this is leaps and bounds from the way I'd have imagined this role from the written page and it shows that you truly DO have some great comic talent!

Nick Chryssomitis - Oh, Nick, boy have you grown up NICE...! First of all, Nick was also great as the Janitor (who doesn't love a guy in uniform?), but who knew that the kid from years ago would mature so NICE (now I REALLY want to know what Frank Saffioti looks like these days...)! Ladies (of either gender) there's a new piece of beefcake on display on the Cumberland Players stage...hopefully, he'll stick around!

Sarah Snow - Sarah's always funny. It's also nice to FINALLY get to see her in a show for GROWN-UPS too!

Todd Kinder - Todd...yes, great role. Again, thanks for breathing more life in this character than implied by the written page. You truly made this character your own!

Monica DeMauro - Monica made a big splash in "Enchanted Journey" and she's continuing with her bigger than life performances...

Barbara DeMarco - okay, she's new...my only real complaint was that I would have liked to have seen a LITTLE more enthusiasm up there...

Amy Giuliani - uh, I'm not going there...

Mary Wisjmuller - Mary is never afraid...she takes the stage like a true professional. One can't help but be drawn to her characters. Her facial expressions are always priceless. Mary knows how to act with her entire body...

Dan Mills - speaking of acting with your whole body... ;) Dan played the corpse here (so it didn't really require learning any dialogue or blocking...I must say that MY corpse in "Whose Wife Is It Anyway" was a far more demanding role...Dan just got rolled out on a cart...that was IT! I had to be hung on a hook on a closet door that swung open and closed a FEW times...and carried around and danced with and more...well, some people need to aspire to SOMETHING!

Look, if anyone is REALLY offended by something I've said here, I think that they may want to take a pill...it's all said with love and honest criticisms...

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