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A HUNDRED MINUS ONE DAY presented Stone on a Walk Theatre through Aug. 29. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.
For the closing production of their sophomore season, Stone on a Walk mounts a whimsical and touching little show. During his curtain speech, director John Leo Meuthing shares that he has wanted to stage A HUNDRED MINUS ONE DAY since the first came across it. After seeing it, I understand why.
Mollie Jeanette Amburgey does good work as Jen, the central character, who is dealing with an incurable illness. She creates some nice moments with her father and friend Daphne. I didn’t have a good sense of the physical toll the illness was having on her body, aside from the cough. Maybe finding a bit more to do on the physical side of the character would help.
Playing Daphne, Jen’s childhood friend, is Sara Tripp Swartout. Swartout gives Daphne a great energy, which is impressive considering the character’s layered costumes in the hot performance space. On those rare occasions when Daphne focuses on the conversation and is still, that energy mostly disappears. I would have liked to have seen that excess energy redirected into her body more. Even though Daphne is paying attention, sitting completely still is almost impossible for her. So she fidgets or sways, just something to keep the energy of Daphne up, but redirected.
Jimm Wiedeman makes his stage debut as Dad. He does a nice job, and I liked the character he created. Performance-wise, I would like to see Jimm connect emotionally with his lines more. Try to find an experience from your life that emotionally-resonates with the scene, and use those feelings to accent your speech and movement.
Rounding out the cast is Bryce Morr as Guy who nicely handles his small scene with Jen.
Director Meuthing does well within the limitations of the space. I’m sure even an extra five feet of width would have helped immensely. Given the confines, the show was well staged and moved as freely as it could. I would try to keep actors from being close to, and facing parallel to. the stage right wall. It closes them off to over half of the audience.
These were several issues opening night on the technical side and with the pacing. Most of which were probably dealt with before their second performance.
Overall a fun, quirky and bittersweet script.
My rating: 3.25 out of 5
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