Driftwood Players

"How the Other Half Loves" Feb. - March 1985

By Alan Ayckbourn, Directed by Gary A. Morean

Carol Stubb (Fiona Foster) Nina Ingram Morean (Teresa Phillips) Ron Soderberg (William Detweiler) Amy Warren (Mary Detweiler) Raymond Phillips (Bob Phillips) Ernie Ingram (Frank Foster)

Pictures by
George McCleary

From The Daily World, Sunday, February 17, 1985

Driftwood play keeps you going

By BETTY BUTLER
World Arts Editor

Move Moliere's 17th century French couples and lovers into a 20th century American city, dress them in blue jeans and jogging suits instead of satins and laces -- but preserve the basic premise that couples and lovers occasionally involve themselves in intrigue, lie to their spouses and wind up in complete misunderstanding and chaos.

That will give you an approximation of "How the Other Half Loves," the Alan Ayckbourn comedy that the Driftwood Players opened Friday night as their 25th anniversary production.

Even Moliere could not have confused the issue or the characters any more thoroughly than Ayckbourn, for the contemporary British playwright added a set which represents two separate living quarters, but is undivided and is shared by two of the couples.

This necessitates split-second timing as the characters' space, lives and lines overlap. and must have kept director Gary Morean awake nights with cold shivers in his first directing job for Driftwood.

It all paid off, however, when a large opening-night crowd obviously enjoyed both the confusion and the mental exercise of trying to keep track of the where and when of each scene.

Novices probably could not handle this play. Fortunately the Driftwood cast includes some of its most experienced players, people like Ernie Ingram and Carol Stubb, who unfailingly deliver polished performances, exploiting every comedic possibility with split-second timing and consistent characterizations.

Then there are Ray Phillips, who brings bizarre behavior to its absolute peak, and Nina Morean, adept at the understated style that contrasts best with Phillips' bombast.

Ron Soderberg and Amy Warren, though they are not inexperienced on stage, are relative newcomers to Harbor theater. It is to their great credit that they hold up their share of the action with the four veteran performers.

The pace never lags, the characters remain true to their own peculiarities and philosophies, and in the audience chuckles rapidly grow into full-fledged belly laughs as the plot turns and twists in incredible contortions.

The cluttered but highly efficient set was designed by Morean; Art Blauvelt is stage manager, and lights and sound are handled by Joe Kruft, Jerry Keltner, Gordon Miller, Norman Sprague and Blauvelt.

The play will show at 8:15 on Friday and Saturday nights through March 9, and tickets are available at City drug in Aberdeen, Harbor Drug in Hoquiam and Monte Drug.

And happy birthday, Driftwood Players! You deserve the thanks of  the whole community for 25 years of good theater.


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