Nine plays with one act each for only a few more days

Colonial Players continues showing its `New Directions' festival through Sunday



There isn't a single dud in the lineup of Colonial Players' "New Directions" festival of nine one-act plays.

The festival, which opened July 20, continues in two segments with showings tonight through Sunday afternoon: The A slate consists of Christopher Durang's Mrs. Sorkin and Desire, Desire, Desire; J.B. McLendon's The Recipe; Audrey Cefaly's Fin and Euba; and Billy Rosenfield's Bridal Terrorism. The B slate includes Alice Gerstenberg's Fourteen; Michael Stang's The Veritas Machine; Ludmilla Bollow's Late/Late ... Computer Date; and Dorothy Parker's Here We Are.

While Parker was a legendary wit and Durang is an established comedy writer, several of the other playwrights are from Maryland. Stang is a retired physician, and McLendon grew up in Annapolis. Fin and Euba won the Maryland and Regional Community Theater Festivals in 2004.

The directors, who were new to Colonial Players, deciphered these works skillfully, helping their actors interpret their roles and moving the action along smoothly at a fast pace - a necessity in one-act plays.

Mrs. Sorkin presents a befuddled speaker to introduce an evening of theater by enthusiastically communicating her shaky knowledge of the subject. Directed by Bryant Centofanti, actress Robin Davis creates a Mrs. Sorkin who confuses and delights us while making us laugh.

Desire, Desire, Desire is a hilarious spoof of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Confusion reigns as Alexander Claxton's Stanley periodically bellows "Stella," Brando-like, and Sue Struve's Blanche reveals a string of neuroses including a near-nymphomaniacal attachment to young men and a fragile sensibility as she ponders why her sister Stella has not returned with the lemon Coke she requested eight years ago.

Two lingerie-clad Maggie-Cats, who mistake Stanley for husband Brett of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, add to the chaos.

Directed by Andrea Elward, The Recipe portrays a young man (played by Steve Cohen) who calls his partner's mother (Kathleen Fegan) on Thanksgiving to get her giblet gravy recipe.

The favorite recipe comes with involved instructions and exotic ingredients revealing the mother's confusion about her son's relationship and averting his partner's attempts to reach out to her.

Fin and Euba is directed by Beth Terranova and given an excellent reading by Annette Aulton and Laura Gayvert in telling the story of two friends stuck in dead-end jobs in a shabby town from which there seems no escape.

A comedic change of pace is provided by Bridal Terrorism that gives a new slant on how to catch a groom. Alexander Claxton again delivers a first-rate performance as the unwitting groom who outwits the terrorist bride, well played by Marky Regensburg.

The second slate of plays includes Fourteen, which tells of a hostess whose dinner party for 14 has a constantly changing guest list because of a snowstorm. With minimal rehearsal, Robin Davis is convincing as the hostess, Mrs. Pringle.

Aimee Lambing is excellent as her daughter and Greg Coale does his usual inhabiting of his character, this time the butler.

The Veritas Machine tells of a lie detector-like device without body sensors that infallibly recognizes truth only by one's voiced responses.

A couple's relationship becomes complicated as truth is revealed. Heather Dressel is convincing as the wife and Michael Rogers as the husband.

Late/Late ... Computer Date is the story of two middle-aged sisters, one of whom ventures out on a Internet date that could be life-changing.

Directed by Robbie Melton, the sisters are played by Joanne Bauer and Barbara Webber.

Directed by Andrea Elward, Parker's Here We Are is given the essential quick timing by actors Meg Kennelly and Robby Rose to bring out the play's witty revelation of the newlywed couple's hidden fears.

Tickets are $7 per slate and can be ordered at or by calling the box office at 410-268-7373.

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