y Nicholas Korn
Director – Carol M. Rice
Stage Manager – Cecily Warford
Set Design – Abby Kipp-Roberts
Sound Design – Jason Rice
Light Design – Steve Roberts
Costumes – Stacy Winsett
Props – Carol M. Rice
Marina: Emily Arthur Davis
Terresa: Sara Jones
Celia: Sam Gonzalez
Serio: Thomas McKee
Pomposa: Eric Befumo
Timidio: Steven Pedro
Di Lirio: Chuck E. Moore
Giovio: Tristan Spohn
Reviewed Performance: 5/4/2019
Reviewed by Jeri Tellez, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
This farce was built around a simple premise: three sisters have become engaged and need their father’s blessing to go forth with the nuptials. The complication arrives when he decides he must discuss the matter with his late wife, whom he imagines is still alive.
The play was clearly set in Rome, but I was not the only observer who was confused about the time setting. The hair, music and costumes were from the 1950s, but the speech was more reminiscent of the Bard. With no notes in the playbill I can only conclude that the choice was made to use a more modern setting, but with no updates to the original language.
Carol M. Rice had a wonderful script to work with. It was farce at its finest. In spite of the timing issue, she did a great job weaving together the various elements, and produced an entertaining show.
As the three sisters, Emily Arthur Davis, Sara Jones and Sam Gonzalez (Marina, Terresa, and Celia respectively) worked well together. They had typical sibling rivalry, but pulled together when it really mattered.
The three aptly named suitors, Serio, Pomposa and Timidio, were played by Thomas McKee, Eric Befumo and Steven Pedro respectively. Pedro did a fabulous job of living up to Timidio’s name, including a bit of a transformation as the plot progressed. Befumo, however, didn’t seem very pompous, and McKee could have had a more serious demeanor.
As Di Lirio, the delusional father, Chuck E. Moore gave a splendid performance. He seemed normal enough at first, except when speaking of his late wife in the present tense. His realization that she was actually gone was heartbreaking to watch. Kudos to Moore for such a stunning and realistic portrayal.
Giovio (Tristan Spohn), the town scoundrel, seemed at first to appear just to upset the fruit basket. His roguish personality, however, masked his better intentions. He was instrumental in Di Lirio’s awakening, as well as helping the sisters wed. Spohn did a nice job, even though he was noticeably louder than the rest of the cast.
The set seemed deceptively unassuming. The design was simple, but the required painting was masterfully done. I would have liked to have seen more greenery, but that did not affect the performance in any way.
Stacy Winsett’s costumes, as mentioned before, were from the 1950s. They were well done and appropriate for the characters. I half expected Giovio to have slicked back hair with a pincurl.
The lighting was simple yet sufficient. There wasn’t much demand for lighting changes, except during the nighttime scene. Steve Roberts did a good job keeping it unpretentious but effective.
Jason Rice’s sound design definitely got the audience in a 1950s mood. Old favorites and some more obscure numbers were mixed together well.
Joseph L Taylor II’s fight direction fell a bit short. The fighting “ladies” seemed unrealistic, and there was no sound of impact when a punch was thrown.
Overall it was a nice presentation, with some excellent performances; an entertaining way to spend a few hours.
Delirium’s Daughters runs through May 18 at Rover Dramawerks.
For tickets and information go to www.roverdramawerks.com or call 972-849-0358.