The play opens with several actresses rapidly moving throughout the household. Among these actresses are the heart-throbbing Bernice Niemeyer (Courtney Hatch), the sharp, Russian piano player Olga Brandt (Amanda Moore) and their household maid, Mattie (Loralee Sepsey). Hatch's movement through the stage was fluent and effortless. The deliverance of her lines and body language was exquisite, as was her enthusiastic humor. Moore's thick accent and her sardonic portrayal of the star-caliber pianist was truly a pleasure to watch. With the incessant urge to comply with all of the young ladies requests, taking phone calls, and answering the door, Sepsey's depiction of Mattie induced hearty laughter from audience members.
With so many females in the show, the male presences stood out even more. Hilarity was at its peak when two sleazy men named Lou Milhauser (Jesus Estrada) and Fred Powell (Trent Teague) entered the boarding house to pick up their dates for an eventful night. Estrada generated some cringe-inducing moments in his attempts to win the heart of the lovely humorist Judith Canfield (Hayley Smith). Smith's performance of conveying the complete and utter awkwardness of a blind date was most definitely amusing.
Amongst the strong male presences include the passionate, yet egotistical, Keith Burgess (Chris Byers), believing that his plays were the best to ever be produced in New York City. His representation of the self-absorbed director was conveyed through his strong gestures and flagrant language, which was impressive. With his apparent confidence, he strives to capture the lovely Terry Randall (Adriana Rodriguez). Rodriguez's performance was full of energy and vitality. There wasn't one moment in the show where the purpose of her scene wasn't obvious. Her like-ability flowed from the top of her head down to the bottom of her toes, consistently pursuing her dream. The scenes with Byers and Rodriguez overflowed with charisma and chemistry, which really gave the performance a nice touch of an electric romance.
Other characters that truly gave the show a sense of levity include the pompous, yet motherly Mrs. Orcutt (Mary Raus), the beautiful, elegant Jean Maitland (Selena Arreola), and the good-natured and proper David Kingsley (Eduardo Villegas). Raus, Arreola, and Villegas all had such powerful characters, each of them with such a wide variety of qualities that made them admirable to watch.
With such a broad range of wonderful characters, it wasn't hard to love the broad range of costumes that went with each one as well. Each character's costume was crafted to their personality, which brought an abundance of vibrancy to the show. Along with the costumes, the set gave the show a very nice touch of the 30's. With old, wooden bookshelves, out-dated paintings, and floral patterned furniture, the set was certainly adept to the show.
This production presented by the students of CMHS and directed by Mrs. Paladino was quite a pleasure to watch. The hard work and dedication of the actors and actresses was conveyed through their delightful performances. Although at times diction was unclear, the cast's movements and powerful stage presence was excellent. Stage Door is a show full of excitement, banter, impulse, and sparkle.
Written by Rachel Russell
Rachel Russell plays the role of Kaye Hamilton, an actress who ran away at 16 to be on the stage, but only used it as a convenience because of her desperation. Kaye is holding onto everyone’s life but her own. She attempts to fit in and try, but her constant battle between her present self and her past get in the way, which leads to her demise.
Rachel Russell has been in 10 productions. She has performed in "A Pirates Life For Me" for 7th grade, "Guys and Dolls" and "This Old House" in 8th grade, "Miracle Worker" and "Wagon Wheels West" in 9th grade, "Up The Down Staircase," "Urinetown," "Almost Maine" (she did tech because she was not old enough), and assistant directed the middle school show "Honk!" all in 10th grade.