When the Lights Go Out, the Hilarity Begins (Paradise)

When the Lights Go Out, the Hilarity Begins (Paradise)

Posted Fri, Apr 2, 2004 in Reviews

When the lights go out, the hilarity begins. Welcome to the topsyturvy world of “Black Comedy,” the ingenious farce written by Peter Shaffer, author of “Equus” and “Amadeus.” Running April 1 to 17, at the Waterfront Playhouse, “Black Comedy” is a very physical and fastpaced comedy in which the role of light and darkness are reversed. Directed by visiting guest artist Jennifer Sassaman, the play stars Joan O’Dowd, Peter King, George diBraud, Brandon Beach, Joy Orlemann, Ross Pipkin, Hanrow Hartley and Tony Greenleaf. Set and lighting design are by Terry Tucker. Set in the swinging 1960s of London, “Black Comedy” concerns Brindsley Miller, a young sculptor and his girlfriend, Carol. The twist is that the play begins with the stage in darkness, which is seemingly normal to the characters. Then a fuse blows, plunging the characters into darkness but the stage lights come up fully illuminated, allowing the audience to enjoy the ensuing mayhem. The characters must now stumble in the dark, barely missing each other and the priceless antiques. Directing this madness is Jennifer Sassaman. She created the New Mermaid Players, a nonprofit theater in Philadelphia, and served as their artistic director for five years. The sculptor, Brindsley, is played by newcomer Brandon Beach, who completed a twoyear acting course at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City and has performed in many plays while in the city. Joy Orlemann plays Carol and is a visiting actress from Philadelphia. Her credits include “The Taming of the Shrew,” “And the World Goes ‘Round” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).” Peter King plays Colonel Melkett. He has starred in “Sleuth” at Tennessee Williams Theater last year, a production that transferred from a successful stint at the Greenwich Playhouse in London. George diBraud is Clea. She recently appeared as Georgie in the Waterfront’s production of “Spike Heels” and has appeared in “The Food Chain,” “How I Learned to Drive” and as Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire” Joan O’Dowd, Miss Furnival, was recently in “Talking Heads” at the Red Barn, where she also appeared in “Shirley Valentine” and “Molly Sweeney.” Ross Pipkin appeared in last year’s “The Miser” at the Waterfront and has performed regionally in many Shakespearean productions. Hanrow Hartley was in “Heaven” at the Waterfront and will play the German, Schuppanzigh who works for the London Electric Company. Tony Greenleaf plays the millionaire art dealer, Georg Bamberger and has appeared at the Nantucket Theatre Workshop in such plays as “Amadeus” and “Private Lives.”

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