SUITE SURRENDERWritten by Michael McKeever
Directed by Carol M. Rice
Scenic design by Bill Parr
Lighting design by Maxim Overton
Costume design by Samantha Grace
Otis - Louis D. Hall
Francis - Henry Okigbo
Bernard S. Dunlap - Kenneth Fulenwider
Mrs. Everett P. Osgood - Kelly Moore Clarkson
Dora del Rio - Veronica Day
Claudia McFadden - Heather Walker Shin
Mr. Pippett - DeWayne Blundell
Athena Sinclair - Melissa Hartman Couture
Murphy - Latreshia Lilly
Reviewed Performance: 6/13/2015
Reviewed by Juliana Adame , Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Open on a deluxe suite at the luxurious Palm Beach Royale hotel. It’s the early 1940s, and two of Hollywood’s biggest and most notorious divas, Claudia McFadden and Athena Sinclair, have checked in for a military benefit with their respective assistants. The catch? A legendary, furious feud, leading to the hotel’s management strategically working to insure the two never see each other- but, alas, then there wouldn’t be a show. The two are accidentally assigned to the same suite, and events transpire in mishaps, mistaken identities, double entendres, white roses, and, overall, hilarity.
Under the direction of Carol M. Rice, this ensemble cast makes for some well organized chaos. The actors will tickle a funny bone or two with their impeccable comic timing, and razor sharp direction, in a show that would be nothing without it, and is everything with it. Bill Parr’s scenic design is masterful, making a blackbox into a false, specious perineum that completely transports one to a swanky 1940s hotel. Cue the nostalgia- as if the precook music weren’t enough to do so. It’s a perfect marriage of design.
Particular stand out performances include Kenneth Fulenwider’s flustered Mr. Dunlap, the hotel’s manager, giving a performance worthy of a Marx brother and enough to rival Phil Lewis’ notorious Mr. Moseby of the Tipton Hotel. As the divas, Heather Walker Shin and Melissa Hartman Couture are simply divine and impeccably delicious, making for a delightful finale to the piece. Also notable is DeWayne Blundell as Claudia’s assistant Pippett, who could easily give Michael Urie’s Marc St. James of Ugly Betty a run for his money, in surprising depth and spastic stress alike. Bravo to all.
Suite Surrender is a show for anyone who is a fan of farce, old Hollywood nostalgia, and an all-around good time. I should be appropriate for about middle school up, but anyone of any age will no doubt be laughing. It’s a fun night at the theatre.
221 W Parker Rd, Suite 580, Plano, TX 75023
Runs through June 27th, 2015
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 PM- occasional matinees, see site for details. LATE SEATING NOT PERMITTED
Thursdays $16, Friday and Saturday $22- discounts for students and seniors available; available on the Rover site online
For information and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.roverdramawerks.com, or call 972.849.0358