Theater Review: An Evening of One-Act Comedies at The Phoenix

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I'm Herbert - at The Phoenix Theatre

An Evening of One-Act Comedies
And other short Pieces
Directed by Molly Brusewitz
The Phoenix Theatre
July 22 - August 28, 2016

Review by Doug Gochanour

The Phoenix Theatre is presenting three short comedies and a few surprise pieces that will tickle your fancy, and may even trigger some reflection of personal experiences.

Overtones, by Alice Gerstenberg, offers a fascinating encounter between two women, who each fell in love with the same starving artist. One of the women chose to marry a different man, who was successful in providing her a wealthy lifestyle. But, she still carried feelings for the artist, and experienced jealousy over her lost love.

The other woman married the artist, but was very envious of the wealth she saw her former acquaintance exhibiting. She comes to visit this woman of wealth, attempting to arrange for her artist husband to be “commissioned” to paint a portrait of her. They need the income.

Each woman has a “shadowing” second actress, playing and saying how she really feels, while the outward conversation is in a very polite and civilized demeanor. It is fun to see what they say, followed by what they really mean.

I’m Herbert, by Robert Anderson, finds us with a very senior couple sitting together reminiscing on their porch. Each has had more than one previous marriage and/or fling.

Senior moments strike often and hard as they attempt to discuss their past. They can’t agree on who did what, and with whom. They occasionally fail to remember which spouse it is, with whom they are talking.

The third play is Here We Are. It is by Dorothy Parker, a very famous poet, short story writer, and critic from the 1920’s and 1930’s. It seems like there should be a movie made of Parker’s life. Her wit lives on, though few of us recognize the source.

In this play, two 1920’s newlyweds have just boarded a train on their way to their honeymoon. Their conversation and body language offer lots of laughs as they circumnavigate wedding night jitters. The husband especially, tries hard to be kind and loving, but seems to keep stumbling upon a word, and issue, a gesture, or something, that his new wife finds objectionable. Actors Debra Rich and Steve Heiret are wonderful in this very funny interchange. Ride along with them and enjoy the humor.

The Phoenix Theatre Season 9 is now taking subscriptions. Don’t miss out on the fun!!

The Theatre is located in Firdale Village, just north of Shoreline, 9673 Firdale Ave, Edmonds, WA 98020.

Tickets are available online.


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