The Man Who Came to Dinner - Theatre Review

By Terry Gloeggler

Natalie Hope MacMillan, Jean Kauffman, Karen Furno, Kevin Michael Moran, Greg Martin, Lila Hood, Deborah Marlowe, Irwin Moskowitz and Lawrence Novikoff
Photo: John Dlugolecki

If you are looking for theatre to enjoy this Holiday Season, then look no further than the Actors Co-op production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner" directed by Linda Kerns. This Christmas set comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman has a quaint old time charm and humor that had the audience laughing. The large ensemble cast puts on quite a production.

'Tis the season for visits from friends and family, which is the premise of the play... only this time the guest never leaves and is a cantankerous terror to live with! Set in the 1930s, "The Man Who Came to Dinner" is the story of radio personality Sheridan Whiteside (played by the dignified Greg Martin) and his convalescence at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley after he falls and injures his hip on their steps. The shenanigans that follow Mr. Whiteside's taking over the Stanley's home and his biting wit are the centerpiece of this tale.

The heart of the story belongs to Whiteside's assistant Maggie (played by the stunning Natalie Hope MacMillan). A good laugh is great, but it is the moving performance of Ms. MacMillan that carries the viewer as we watch her romance with local newspaper man Bert Jefferson (played by the engaging Connor Sullivan). Their storyline was a highlight in an otherwise emotionally distant comedy of errors. Her boss's efforts to keep Maggie in his employ create much of the humor while we wait to see if love will prevail.

Some of the stand out performances came in the form of Mr. Whiteside's eccentric friends that dropped in on the household. Wenzel Jones put in a stellar cameo as Beverly Carlton garnering loads of laughter from the audience. Actress Lorraine was portrayed by Catherine Urbanek who brought the character to life and truly makes you believe that blondes do have more fun. Every time she took to the stage she drew every eye. Then there was the sweetly mysterious Harriet Stanley, sister to Mr. Whiteside's reluctant host, played by Brenda Ballard whose performance hit just the right note.

From penguins to cockroaches, and many missteps in between, "The Man Who Came to Dinner" will definitely entertain. The whole cast comes together to make a holiday treat that any family can enjoy. Be prepared, the play runs about two and a half hours, but all the laughter keeps the pace moving.

Located at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theater in Hollywood "The Man Who Came to Dinner" runs through December 17.

Posted By Discover Hollywood on November 06, 2017 01:43 pm | Permalink