David Newman, a neighborDave Levine
Jan Miller, an actressSusinne Michele
Lois Shields, a fiction editorAngie Stillwell
Al Shields, an ad agency art directorKen Shafer
Ken Miller, an architectJim Payton
Alan Grant, a uniformed officerTony Rodgers

Audience in 'Cahoots' with PowPAC thriller

By Pat Kumpan
Community Editor

Sprinkle wit, humor and dialogue delivered with timing that not only aims but hits the mark, and you have the perfect setting for PowPAC's thriller "Cahoots," now running through April 2.

"Cahoots" lets the audience zoom not only into Jan and Ken Miller's posh Manhattan apartment, where the action is set throughout the play, but inside their relationship with Lois and Al Shields.

Al and Lois have arrived at the Miller's so they all may attend a crime prevention meeting together, something Al has arranged for in advance. It becomes obvious that living in the "Big Apple" with it's increasing violence and crime, is something Al is determined he, his wife and friends must become more aware of, and especially the ways to protect themselves.

He uses the time before the meeting to practice his defensive walking. "You have to look seedy so you won't attract trouble. Walk in a passive, purposeless way," he adds, as he saunters through the living room, showing Lois and Jan the reason no one will take time to bother them on the streets, if they do as he suggests.

Lois retorts sarcastically with, "Ah, all I have to do is look seedy. Is that it, Al?"

While Al appears obsessed with getting his friends more aware of how to stop crime, everyone else seems intent to worry about the mundane moments of everyday life - like getting dinner on the table, and discussing how the day at work went.

During the dinner-hour, however, words begin to fly like bullets between Al and Ken. As the ratatat-tat of conversation fires up, Al gets under Ken's skin with direct jabs about Ken's architectural designs for imaginary buildings, "buildings that will never get built."

"An architect I'm not. I'm, a minimizer. Each year everything gets 6 percent smaller," quips Miller, defending himself with ease, not outwardly showing his annoyance.

As the rounds heat up, however, Ken tells Al he doesn't like him. In fact, "I never did like you," and the collision course between the two lies straight ahead.

Meanwhile, Jan and Lois have been keeping up their end of the dinner conversation, but now they're witness to the turn of events.

Adding spice to the story is the appearance of a security guard at the Miller's door. Apparently he has been watching the Miller apartment from the high-rise building across the way, not on this night alone, but several times in between.

From this point on, revealing the progression of the plot would spoil the fun for those wishing to see a well-acted thriller unfold. With an adult theme, language is targeted to an adult audience but never assaults the ear.

Jim Payton and Susinne Michele play the Millers, while Ken Shafer and Angie Stilwell portray their friends, the Shields. Alan Grant appears as the security guard and David Newman debuts with PowPAC as the neighbor.

Jay Mower does a superb job of directing by keeping the pace moving and never allowing action or dialogue to lumber along.

The set design by Mower, with the assistance of Chaike Levine as set decorator, and several dedicated construction members, plus the sound and lighting touches by Jim Millard, live up to the PowPAC standard of transforming an ordinary stage into the perfect playground for Thespians to fine tune their skill.

Performances continue 8 p.m. Friday and Saturdays, through April 2 and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are each, for senior citizens and students.

The theater is located at 13634 Cynthia Lane in Poway. Reservations are recommended; call 679-8085.

DirectorJay MowerHair/Make-up ConsultantShari Lyon
Assistant DirectorChaike LevineScenic ArtistsDiane Bullen, Mona Schlensinger
Stage ManagerChaike LevineHouse ManagerDoreen Jacobs
Executive ProducerC'Dale GrossReservationsKathy McCafferty
ProducerNan KatonaSpecial EffectsKen Shafer
Set DesignerJay MowerAdditional DialogueDave Levine
Set DecoratorChaike LevineProgramKaren Maher, C'Dale Gross
Set Construction ForemanRuss OrrProgram Cover DesignJim Millard
Lighting Designer/OperatorJim MillardTicket PrintingJim Millard
Sound Designer/OperatorJim MillardViedo TapingJohn Heinen
PublicityDave Hibler, Nan Katona, Jay MowerPhotographerTony Eisenhower
PropertiesPaula Pelletier, Jessica UmhoeferHospitalityNancy Green, Annette Huffman, Georgetta Jones, Amy Lincoln, Karen Maher, Kathy McCafferty, Phyllis Millard, Jillian Ownby, Brenda and Chris Robinson, Beth Thomas, Bruce Thompson, Jessica Umhoefer
Costume ConsultantCindy CharronSet ConstructinRuss & Linda Orr, Kathy McCafferty, Irene Billingsly, Annette Huffman, Jay Mower, C'Dale Gross, Nan & Gery Katona, Jeffrey Mower, Anna Mower, Tim Olson, Chaike Levine, Paula Pelletier, Megan Hart