Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Community Actors Theatre's rendition of Come Back, Little Sheba is Intriguing

by Paola HornbucklePictured: Stephen Rowe and Renee Gandola

The dynamics of Come Back Little Sheba directed by George Bailey and Kristen Fogle, now playing at C.A.T Community Actors Theatre, are very interesting to any student of male/female dynamics and the institution of marriage throughout time.
Stuck in a lifeless, stale, co-dependent marriage Lola (Renee Gandola) and Doc (Stephen Rowe) repress their disappointment and hostility she with a faked obsequiousness that barely hides her depression and he with a morbid sexual fascination with Marie (Beth Gallagher) their young renter.  The emptiness of their lives and their mutual, almost annoying, intrusive interest with Marie's life and loves contrasts with Marie's palpable disinterest. Marie is as indifferent to Lola and Doc as she is to her two love interests, Bruce (Alexander Mayes) the sensible husband material, and Turk (Tim Benson) the fling material.  Doc and Lola's empty marriage foreshadows Marie and Bruce's unromantic union leaving the audience with little romantic fantasy to hold onto. The only person who seems to hold on to an illusion is Lola, just like she holds on to the fantasy that her lost dog, Little Sheba, is going to come home. In the end, finally crushed under Doc's thunderous hostility and eruption of an intermittent alcoholic rage, she finally dreams that Little Sheba (her romantic ideals) is hurt and must be abandoned, and agrees with Doc that it is time for a ruthless hunting dog.

Pictured: Beth Gallagher and Tim BensonBecause this play takes place in the 1950's one assumes that divorce was simply not an option for unhappiness, and marriage, instead of being a joyful union was more of a hypocrisy and soul-numbing trap for those that chose to stay in it because they could not imagine any other options.
Rowe shines as the befuddled and repressed but maniacally angry Doc. His obtuse obsession with Marie and insistence that she is innocent is a wonderful example of Freudian repression. His consuming rage at the wife he ends up with, Lola, is palpable. This is a man who cannot face himself or his life. Gandola is charming as the merrily clueless and inept Lola, a woman uninteresting and uninterested in self-examination, completely dependent and a bit of a burden. She never sinks into pathos and thus keeps the play humming at a pleasant tone. Marie seems a bit cold and calculating, never really engaging with the couple that she so strongly affects. This is not a play about connection, but mostly disconnection. I enjoy George Bailey's lightness of touch, his directing never intrudes, but unfolds naturally. It does not sink into heavy drama, but the disconnect between the characters lends to a feeling of meaninglessness.

Also playing are Bill West, Leo Jefferson, Darrian Ferguson, Jake Virginia, and David Purcell, and Kimberly King. CAT is located at 2957 54th St. (619 264-3391) www.communityactorstheatre.com

ArtsNFashion presents "Welcome to Ramallah".  Coming 7 Sept 2012.  For Details and tickets visit http://www.welcometoramallah.com/

Free online subscription of the ArtsNFashion Magazine. ArtsNFashion Magazine
View Current Magazine
Purchase current/archived ArtsNFashion Magazine


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms