Saw Hay Fever again last night – and that cast is cookin’! And they made me laugh so hard, I … you know.
Before the show, I had a chance to chat with SM “Mom” Devlin. It’s a different show every time, with the actors honing and discovering new things – even in moments where they have no dialogue. And that’s excellent. I also gave “Mom” a hand with a few props/set piece repairs; one of the artificial candles had toppled off its secured spot on a plate (and Krazy Glue just wasn’t doing the job). I found a glue gun – and Bob’s your uncle! There was also concern about the table cloth on the breakfast table – that “Sandy” would pull it down accidentally as he does his dive under the table. Nothing like packing tape – we taped the back edge of the bottom layer to the back of the table.
Always new stuff to notice – and actors you already know to appreciate over and over again. Dinah Watts is such big fun as “Judith,” and the bickering between her and husband “David” (Hereward Pooley) is so hysterially real, you’d think they’d been married for years. Ken MacAlpine (“Simon”) and Tamara Lubek (“Sorel”) are equally engaging and believable as siblings, in one moment in collusion and in another sniping at each other. And Anne Harper’s put-opon, gruff “Clara” doesn’t cease to crack me up.
The cast of houseguests is a joy to watch – the ultimate “fish out of water” scenario for each of them, in very specific ways. The athletic “Sandy’s” (Leete Stetson) startled dive under the table at breakfast is hilarious – co-producer Tina McCulloch called it his “scared bunny” bit. I think it’s because he does this thing with his hands just before he goes. Cracks me up. Tina Sterling’s “Myra” is sleek, sexy and acerbic – and darkly funny – and never misses an opportunity to use her sex appeal to get what she wants. Jonathan Thomas (“Richard”) goes – hilariously – from being extremely dapper, charming and diplomatic – not to mention unflappable – to a nervous, shaking mess, never loses his sense of politeness and respect for the others. Kaitlyn Riordan’s journey as “Jackie” is quite the opposite; a scared little mouse at the beginning, she displays gumption in the end. And I burst out laughing when I noticed her spotting the stocking hanging from the chandelier last night.
God is in the details – and this cast delivers big time.
Speaking of – and too bad this didn’t read from the stage – a bit of props trivia: the book that “Sandy” holds in front of his crotch after he and “Sorel” are discovered making out in the library in Act II is none other than Moby Dick. I know!