Driftwood Players

"Hay Fever" Feb. - March 1984

By Noel Coward, Directed by Jane Mezera & Pat Stevenson

From Left: Esther Bonk: (Amy) Judy Ball: (Clara) Ray Phillips: (Simon Bliss) Annice Hogsette: (Sorel Bliss) M.D. "Mike" Carter: (David Bliss) Amy Warren: (Jackie Corydon) Geri Reynolds: (Judith Bliss) Mark Collett: (Sandy Tyrell) Bobbee Downs: (Myra Arundel) Ken McDonald (Richard Greatham)

Pictures by
George McCleary

From The Daily World

Driftwood's Hay Fever Nothing to sneeze at

World Arts Editor

    A fast pace and excellent charactizations by several actors make the Driftwood Players' production of Noel Coward's Hay Fever a successful comedy that earned a lot of laughs at its opening night last Friday.

    Coward, the very epitome of sophistication and wit in the 1930s, doesn't always wear as well as he does in Hay Fever. But this play, in addition to sophistication and wit, has several hilariously eccentric characters, portrayed in the Driftwood version by actors for whom the roles seem custom-made.

    Playing against each other with particular rib-tickling effect are Geri Reynolds, as Judith Bliss, an aging actress to whom the whole world's a stage; Ray Phillips, as her witty, selfish and sometimes boorish son Simon, and Annice Hogsette as her fluttery, sometimes quarrelsome daughter Sorel.

    Somewhat overshadowed by this dramatic family, but right in there with his own brand of intrigue, is the novelist father, played by M.D. "Mike" Carter.

    When each member of the family invites, unbeknownst to the others, a guest of the opposite sex for the weekend, the situation soon becomes more complicated than eight persons (plus two wonderfully tart maids) really warrant.

    The guest, also, have been well cast by director Jane Mezera. They include Bobbee Downs as a scheming divorcee, Ken McDonald as a somewhat staid diplomat, Amy Warren as a featherbrained flapper, and Mark Collett as a callow young man. Judy Ball as a fine Clara, a maid who speaks her mind, and Esther Bonk is her helper.

    The English accents are well enough done that they add to, rather than subtract from, the effect of the play, and the English country-manor set, designed by Michael Bennett, also adds realism.

    The 1920s costumes deserve a special word: colorful, appearing most authentic, and amusing. Connie Miller and Esther Bonk were in charge, while Mae Brook and Bobbee Downs did the makeup and hairdos. Pat Stevenson was assistant director.

    The play will show at the Driftwood Playhouse, I and Third Streets in Aberdeen, on Friday and Saturday nights through March 10. Tickets may be obtained at City Drug in Aberdeen, Harbor Drug in Hoquiam, and Monte Drug in Montesano.  

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