THE COARSE ACTOR RISES!By Kurt Kleinmann
Directed by Art Kedzierski
Production Manager – Jared Culpepper
Scenic/Lighting Design – Maxim Overton
Costume Design – Angela Boggs
Graphic Design – James Nelms & Art Kedzierski
Audiovisual Design – Kurt Kleinmann & Art Kedzierski
Properties Design – John Harvey
Stage Manager – Leeann Ducker
Jared Culpepper – Emilio Schwartzman
La Keisha Leonard – Vicki Vale
Camille Long – Oolong
Steve Miller – Bart Brockman
Johanna Nchekwube – Alice Drew
Chad Spear – Carl Swanson
Octavia Thomas – Annie Masters
Reviewed Performance: 8/20/2016
Reviewed by Angela Newby, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Kleinmann based this show off of the book, “The Coarse Acting Show” and is the latest in the Coarse Acting series that Pegasus began in 1985.
Director Art Kedzierski has done a fabulous job bringing together an amazing cast and crew to pull off this comedy. Every actor played off of one another which only added to the hilarity of the script.
Maxim Overton’s scenic design was sparse with a blank stage and four bar stools for Act 1. Act 2 brought in two different spray-painted Dallas skylines to help with the feuding Romeo and Juliet Dallas version with the two feuding families. While the set was very minimalistic, it was perfect to allow the audience to focus on the show as a whole. Lighting design also by Overton was beautifully designed and executed.
Angela Boggs with costumes was brilliant. The costumes matched each personality perfectly. Director Bart Brockman was stylish in his dress pants, button down, and scarf with an ascot knot. Annie, the boxer, was decked in workout gear while Oolong was in yoga attire. Vicki, the director’s assistant, was perfect in her skirt and button down shirt. Costumes were perfect in Act 2 when the “class” was putting on their performance of Romeo and Juliet. The plain printed shirts for the feuding families only added to the BAADA style and personality. Boggs’ costumes were artful and spot on.
Graphic Design by James Nelms and Art Kedzierski along with Audiovisual Design by Kurt Kleinmann and Art Kedzierski added another level of depth to the show. The projection elements were used perfectly to help transition the play from one day to the next as well as prepare the audience for the final performance in the BAADA.
John Harvey’s props were amazing. The different colored composition books for the students each matched their personalities, including the tabs on Alice’s. Each and every prop of the production section of the play only added to the humor.
Director Bart Brockman, played by Steve Miller, was quirky and hilarious. His pitch and diction was spot on for a director and one that wants to show new actors the ropes of the acting world. Brockman’s nerves were obvious with Miller’s use of wringing his hands and facial expressions. Miller was over the top in his acting abilities and brought the humor to the show.
Jared Culpepper played Emilio Schwartzman, the actor looking to obtain a girlfriend, was nerdy and lacking in confidence. Culpepper nailed this with his constant fidgeting and nervous energy. Continued in his dazed looks Culpepper was able to highlight Emilio’s lack of acting skills. Once the production of Romeo and Juliet began, Culpepper’s talent was effortless and perfectly portrayed this inept acting character.
Vicki Vale, portrayed by La Keisha Leonard, was the assistant to Director Bart Brockman. Leonard nailed the nervous glances, and eager facial expressions to show Brockman that she was doing a good job. Leonard was full of bright smiles and a cheerleader voice that only enhanced her characters personality. While acting in the production, Leonard’s shrugs and perplexed glances were perfect for each role she played.
Camille Long as Oolong, the free-spirit, yoga loving actress was brilliant. Long perfectly portrays this with her light movements and total disregard of personal space. Long continued with her eager glances and bright eyes that lent to the character flawlessly. Yet it was her vocals that brought her whole character together which was obvious with her slight hiccups and breathiness.
Alice Drew, played by Johanna Nchekwube, was enthusiastic and ready to dive head first into her acting career. Nchekwube portrayed this easily with her infomercial tone and tabbed composition book. Her facial expressions were exaggerated and perfectly showed one who was trying too hard to do this acting thing right. Perfection for her character!
Carl Swanson, portrayed by Chad Spear, was full of stage fright and lack of acting skills, yet had a strong desire to learn the skills. Spear was intense in his audition section with his solid vocals and puzzled looks when asked to do close to the impossible! Swanson’s fear of center stage was executed impeccably by Spear with his shaking of his head and worried facial expressions. Spear’s skills only added to the humor in Act 2 with his “what could happen” shrugs and wide eyes.
Octavia Thomas was stunning as Annie Masters, the fighter turned actress. Thomas’s bright eyes and smiles were perfect for this friendly character. Master’s fighting skills was only highlighted by Thomas’s boxing moves that were accurate and perfectly timed. As Juliet, Thomas was breathtaking with her powerful voice and exasperated tones.
Pegasus Theatre has put on a fabulous show that shows the insides of what an acting academy could be like in a small Texas town. It is full of humor and delight and makes for a great night out!
At the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E Lawther Dr., Dallas, TX 75218
Runs through August 27th
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00. Saturday matinee at 3:00. Ticket prices range from $10-$25 depending on performance. For tickets and information, go to http://pegasustheatre.org or call the Box Office at 972-744-4650.