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THE COVER OF LIFE presented by Falcon Theater through April 25. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Saturday performance.
There is a famous notion that 90% of directing is casting, If this is the case, director Tracy M. Schoster definitely succeeded with her wonderful ensemble for THE COVER OF LIFE. Not only is every character well-defined and unique, but the dynamics among all the characters are as well.
Tara Williams deftly handles Kate’s journey from cynic to visitor to friend. Gretchen Reinersman shines as simple-spoken, yet wise beyond her years, Tood. Lisa Dirkes smartly finds the humor in dedicated-wife and dedicated-Christian, Weetsie. Holly Sauerbrunn’s smart-tongued, deadpan delivery of pragmatic, life-weary Aunt Ola is spot on. The moment Merritt Beischel throws out the first verbal barb, it speaks volumes to who Sybil is. Kristy Rucker makes busybody Addie Mae fun and endearing. Jared Earland as Tommy looks like he stepped out of a recruitment poster and handles the youngest-brother angst well.
Thanks to the director, there are many, very nicely-done moments in the show. Favorites include: Kate and Tood on the hilltop and their final goodbye. Todd and Aunt Ola’s private conversations. Sybil and Weetsie’s argument in front of company. Weetsie eavesdropping on Tood and Sybill and Tood and Tommy at the pond. I could mention a few more, but those would be spoilers. The show is well-paced, flows well and the Schoster creates great stage pictures.
The costumes, designed by Tara Williams, evoked the time-period and complimented the personalities of the characters. Great work done by Prop Mistress Alecia Lewkowich as well.
This is the first production since the organization has completed some upgrades to their recently purchased venue. The raisers have been installed and the new seating is definitely more comfortable. Freshly repainted, the theater now has an intimate black box aesthetic that works well.
Overall an emotionally strong, heartfelt and heartbreaking production. Congratulations to all. The first weekend did sell out, so I recommend you get your tickets in advance.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
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