The channel art pages | CRITICAL REVIEW
The Theater Arts Department presented a series of plays by Christopher Durang titled “Laughter with Durang” at their preview party on Wednesday, November 10.
The show is led by Assistant Instructor Matt Talbott and features Durang’s six unique pieces, including: “Medea,” “Funeral Home,” “The Doctor Will See You Now,” “For Whom the Southern Beauty Is Ringing” and “ Wanda’s visit ”.
All of the actors’ performances were excellent, as there were many scenes that made me feel like it was not a play but real situations. The way they portrayed their characters made it so realistic and added to the entertaining vibe of the show.
Several scenarios throughout the play were sometimes silly and too dramatic for my liking. Instead of judging the performance itself solely on these few scenes, I instead looked at how they added to the show as a whole.
A scene during “Medea” disturbed a viewer in front of me due to its involvement of political figures. However, many other members of the audience seemed to enjoy the scene as soft laughter filled the room during it.
The show ends with “Wanda’s Visit,” featuring an unhappy and stranded couple after 13 years of marriage. Then the husband’s high school girlfriend comes to town to visit them and gives them a rude moment the entire stay. I wanted to kick the ex-girlfriend out of the house myself during the scene because she kept talking.
The background consisted of white hanging panels on which the spotlights displayed the various backgrounds. This helped create a neutral setting that was able to switch to different scenes with little change needed.
When I arrived I looked up at the ceiling where I saw all the light beams and spotlights pointed at the stage. It was interesting to see how the stage crew created the backgrounds.
“Laughing with Durang” had a different setting than I was used to, which made the show more intimate and fun. Instead of a normal theatrical setup, audience members were seated diagonally facing each other.
The performers stood at eye level just in front of the audience. It helped the actors and actresses consistently engage with the crowd and grabbed my attention for the show.
“Laughing With Durang” will be performed until Saturday, November 20 at the Jurkowitz Theater at City College.
Tickets cost $ 10 for students, $ 15 for seniors and City College employees, and $ 18 for general admission. They can be purchased on the theater website or by calling the ticket office at (805) 965-5935.