A Family Institution â€“ Village Players of Hatboro’s THE CURIOUS SAVAGE
A review by Lesley Grigg of STAGE Magazine
Enchanting, heartwarming, witty… not the first words that usually come to mind when describing scenes from a mental institution, but all three fit the description of Village Players production of THE CURIOUS SAVAGE.
The curtain opens on a charming set, centered with a comfortable looking couch and french doors flanked by floor to ceiling bookshelves along the back wall. A lovely living space, complete with piano and collection of unique books, fit for a gathering place for a group of kind-hearted crazies.
Director Ed Young and AD Steve Underwood assembled a delightful cast of new and experienced actors. Even with a large group, each character brings a little something different without overshadowing one another.
At first, Ethel Savage (played by Barbara MacMullen) seems like any other eccentric senior as she casually enters stage right clutching a teddy bear and sporting a ‘saucy’ crimson feathered pirate-looking hat. Later we discover that what her step-children see as crazy is just her desire to help others and cross items off her own bucket list. MacMullen keeps us guessing as to whether or not Ethel really does belong there. Ethel’s choice to pretend right along with her fellow inmates flows nicely with her own obsessive need to walk along the carpet’s edge.
With a name like Fairy May, you have to be delicate and poised, and Rachel Daly pulls this off with her slightly monotone dialogue and sensitive personality. She also gets the award for best one liners of the play, all delivered with expert timing and just the right amount of inflection. OK, so the girl likes to plant bird seed, but who wouldn’t like someone who strives to make life exciting and only says goodbye to people she doesn’t want to see again.
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