Theater review: Proposals - entertaining production from Driftwood Players

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The cast of Proposals at the Wade James Theatre in Edmonds

By Neil Simon

Edmonds Driftwood Players
at the Wade James Theatre
Directed by Paul Fouhy
February 19 – March 6, 2016

Review by Doug Gochanour

Neil Simon is famous for his humorous and witty display of human interactions, involving love, marriage, divorce, misunderstandings, cheating, and the emotional roller coaster atmosphere surrounding each of these. This play offers all of that and more.

Simon’s plays usually take place in an urban environment, so this outdoor setting at a home in the Poconos in 1953 breaks with expectations. A further surprise is that the story is told by the maid of the household, decades later and three years after her own death. Cynthia King gives a remarkable portrayal of this narrator, lead character, and devoted housekeeper, Clemma Diggins.

Proposals is a romantic comedy-drama involving Burt Hines, his daughter Josie, and his ex-wife Annie, whom he still loves. Burt is suffering from a heart condition, and this is the last summer at this peaceful retreat home. A host of comical characters complicate the situation and provide a conduit for humor. Romantic attractions, including a proposal and retraction, prove to be misdirected and miss-timed.

Clemma and her long lost husband
Photo courtesy Driftwood Players

When nine people converge on one given day to sort out their various relationship aspirations, all tranquility is lost. Even Lewis, Clemma’s husband, arrives seven years after deserting her. Can there be any way to salvage an absence like that?

The character of Vinnie brings a unique offering of humorous interplay, with Ryan St. Martin tickling the audience for many laughs. Vinnie has a facility for mispronouncing words, or creating all new words, artfully confusilating the spectrumation of Italianical malapropism.

Scene from Proposals
Photo courtesy Driftwood Players

Your Driftwood Theatre Cast and their Crew are to be commended on this extremely entertaining production. You won’t want to miss the creative interplay of humorous communications between these nine incredibly talented actors. Make sure you are there to see which love connections are able to survive the turmoil and perhaps lead to new proposals.

Driftwood Players at the Wade James Theatre, 950 Main Street, Edmonds 98020. Box office 425-774-9600.


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