Catherine ReardonKaren Lust
Anna ReardonRobin Christ
Ceil AdamsColleen Mahan
Mrs. PentranoJoanna J. McCartney
Fleur SteinDee Kelley
Bob SteinDavid M. Miller, Jr.
Delivery BoyBrad Gattuse

Jim Payton
Dee Kelley
Karen Lust
Brad Gattuso
Robin Christ
David M. Miller, Jr.
Colleen Mahan
Picture of Joanna needed
Joanna J. McCartney

ProducersBrenda & Chris RobinsonLighting & Sound OperationKathy Parker
DirectorJim PaytonCostume DesignPeggy Maki
Assistant DirectorDave HiblerHouse ManagerKathy McCafferty
Stage ManagerBrenda RobinsonPhotographyTony Eisenhower
Properties ManagerEnid MunkProgram Nan Katona
Set DesignJohn IveyPublicityNan Katona
Set DecorationBrenda RobinsonPrintingPoway Printing
Set ConstructionChris RobinsonTicketsJim Millard
Lighting DesignJim MillardSet Construction CrewRoger Willoughby, John Ivey, Brenda Robinson, Jim Payton
Sound DesignLou AllianoHospitalityJanet Danehy, Kathy Eckery, C'Dale Gross, Dawn Marie Himlin, Nan Katona, Chaike Levine, Millie McCafferty, Sheila Miller, Krysten Nichols, Linda & Russ Orr, Chris Robinson, Loretta Setter, Jessica Umhoefer, Nikki Veasey

(Poway News Chieftain, Thursday, January 21, 1999)

Dark comedy pays tribute to family bonds

'Miss Reardon' packs an emotional punch

Theater Review By Pat Kumpan

"and miss reardon drinks a little" is in capable hands with Poway Performing Arts Company's Thespians, who delve without fear into the heart of a sisterly rivalry.

Now being performed through Sunday, Feb. 7, the dark comedy, written by Paul Zindel, focuses on the trio's relationships with special attention given to Anna Reardon, who has had a nervous breakdown while teaching her class.

Although the subject matter would seem too dreary for some, and is spiced with some rowdy language, PowPAC Thespians keep the pace moving with lines that are witty, cutting and thought-provoking.

Under Jim Payton's direction, "miss reardon" is worth seeing as a tribute to bonds that tie family members together -- even in the worst of times.

Robin Christ brings tenderness, fear, and a zany element to Anna's unstable mental condition. Christ unravels Anna's vulnerability, unveiling the rollercoaster ride she's on and the human frailty that lies within us all.

Anna resides with her sister Catherine, finding a safe haven for recorery -- or has she?

Karen Lust as gutsy Catherine, the one who drinks a little, and it's Lust who weaves complexity with an endearing thread as Anna's protector. When Lust packs hamburger meat into an empty chocolate box and nonchalantly nibbles a few morsels "to get a little protein," it's in consideration of Anna's vegetarian lifestyle.

Sister Ceil, played by Colleen Mahan, creates friction at every turn. Ceil's status as superintendent of schools doesn't go unrecognized but never receives much praise from her sisters, one being a teacher and the other a school principal.

Mahan keeps her character steady and aloof, on the outside always looking in, reflecting some of the same qualities the trio use to describe their dearly departed mother. Wanting to do the best for Anna, Ceil has come for dinner armed with paperwork for committing Anna to an asylum, but keeps her mission quiet until the right moment.

It doesn't take long for the sisters to begin their vebal volley.

"catherine is the old maid you should have been," Anna tells Ceil, who has married Catherine's former beau.

"you're the part of mother i've always despised," Catherine hisses at Ceil.

When friends Bob and Fleur Stein drop by for a quick update on Anna's condition, the two are pulled into finding out too much about the Reardons and vice versa. Dee Kelley and David Miller play the couple who begin to see their own relationship with all its flaws under the Reardon's microscope.

Other cast members include Joanna J. McCartney, as neighbor Mrs. Pentrano; and Brad Gattuso as the delivery boy.

Tickets for "and miss reardon drinks a little" are general admission and for seniors and students. Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.

The theater is at 13250 Poway Road in Poway. For reservations, call 679-8085.