HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES

by Alan Ayckbourn
Director - James Caputo
Producers - Sherrie and Joel Colbourn
April 26 - May 19, 2002



CAST

FionaConnie Terwilliger
WilliamDavid Dartt
FrankGrant Gelvin
BobJonathan Sachs
MaryJulie Anderson
TeresaLynne Goodman
 


A fast-paced farce from the master of British farce. An unbridled comedic look at marriage and infidelity.



Julie Anderson

Lynne Goodman

Connie Terwilliger

Jonathan Sachs

David Dartt

Grant Gelvin

James Caputo
Director
 

PRODUCTION STAFF

ProducersSherrie & Joel ColbournLighting DesignerJim Millard
DirectorJames CaputoSound & Lighting TechnicianMark Everhart
Assistant DirectorLynda HarrisCostume DesignerLaBeth Thompson
Stage ManagerEnid MunkProps MistressEnid Munk
Stage CrewJason Justice, Cassandra PierceHouse ManagerPowPAC
Set DesignerJames CaputoFlyer & Program Cover DesignerAngel Mojica
Set RealizationRosemary KingProgramNan Katona
Set ConstructionJohn Ivey, John Seagren, Bill Fay, Sherrie & Joel ColbournPhotographerTony Eisenhower
Furniture ConstructinJerry HughsPublicitySherrie Colbourn
Sound DesignerLou AllianoPrintingPoway Printers

 
Thanks to Tony Eisenhower for the pictures!


Review by Critic Robert Hitchcox
Date Reviewed April 26, 2002

Review In comedy timing is everything. Of course, it also helps to have a brilliantly written script, crisp properly paced direction, and a cast totally into their roles. PowPAC’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s "How the Other Half Loves" meets all of this criteria.

The script calls for the living areas of two families with action in both areas at the same time. Both areas occupy the same space – the breadth and depth of PowPAC’s stage. James Caputo’s set accomplishes absolute separation of living spaces, as realized by Rosemary King’s excellent crafting of the walls. Further delineation is accomplished by different furniture styles and wall decorations. Prop Mistress Enid Munk added to this with her authentic British props.

Director James Caputo is as much a traffic cop as a very good director. Caputo developed effective psychological space between the families even when the actors were only a few feet apart.

Frank and Fiona Foster (Grant Gelvin and Connie Terwilliger) are upper crust. The other two men work for him. Gelvin plays a delightful bumbler with limited short term memory and zero mechanical aptitude. One wonders how he made it to management level. Terwilliger’s Fiona is chic, totally in control of her household, and, unlike Frank, knows where everything is. Terwilliger and Gelvin give outstanding performances.

Teresa and Bob Phillips (Lynne Goodman and Jonathan Sachs) are at lower economic level. Bob has a wee indiscretion. It seems that coming home a three a.m., with an excuse that doesn’t hold up, gives Teresa anxiety. Goodman is a delight in a love-hate relationship. Sachs’ exudes just enough arrogance to make one wonder why Teresa married Bob. We find out.

The visitors to both families are Mary and William Detwiller (Julie Anderson and David Dartt). Mary is an introverted mouse, afraid of anything that reeks of power and wealth. Watching Anderson transition from Ms. Mouse to a rather assertive woman is truly delightful. Dartt’s William ranges from mealy-mouthed sycophant to aggressive defender of his family.

Each role was well developed by the cast. Their British accents were convincing without being unintelligible. Terwilliger and Gelvin were properly refined, while the others tended towards the common. Costume Designer LaBeth Thompson created and gathered a wardrobe that added to each character.

The Detwiller’s dinner with both (at the same time), but separately, the Phillips and the Fosters is unique. The Foster’s table, which is center stage parallel to the audience, is elegantly set with fine crystal and china. The Phillips table, which crosses the Foster’s table, is adorned with plastic and aluminum ware. Simply by swiveling in their chairs, the Detwiller’s move from one dinner party to the other. It works, is convincing, and totally hilarious. Anderson’s handling of a martini glass will bring tears to your eyes and your sides aching.

Sound Designer Lou Alliano’s theme and background music amusingly set the scene. Jim Millard’s lighting is straight-forward. Jerry Hughs’ custom-built furniture is unique.

"How the Other Half Loves" is an extremely funny farce. Ayckbourn’s dialog is a joy to hear, as performed by the talented cast. When the script says there is a down pour of rain, one expects that as the guests enter, their coats to be wet. And since I’m being picky, please cast hold for the laughter, we missed a few really funny lines. At least, I think they were funny, I didn’t hear them.

Need a night of laughter, don’t miss this production at PowPAC.



Little extras around the theatre depicting the British theme!


Continuous preparation
 


Timing, acting hit mark in witty farce at PowPAC


How the Other Half Loves’ stars, back row from left, Grant Gelvin, Jonathan Sachs and David Dart; front row: Lynne Goodman, Connie Terwilliger and Julie Anderson.
 

By Pat Kumpan
Poway News Chieftain

If you’re looking for a respite from today’s doldrums, the Poway Performing Arts Company can turn up the tickle factor with the British farce “How the Other Half Loves,” showing now through May 19.

Thanks to British playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s wit and exceptional direction by James Caputo, PowPAC Thespians keep the dialogue crisp so audiences can savor the humor without getting bogged down.

If timing is everything, then PowPAC’s actors should get a standing ovation every night for a job well done.

What adds to the frenzy of the well-paced show is a dual set with two dining tables, one placed over the other to depict two separate dinners.

When the Fosters invite the Detwillers over on Thursday and the Phillips invite the Detwillers for a home-cooked meal on Friday, actors make the transition by turning their bodies from one table to the next, instead of showing the gatherings in two separate scenes.

The lives of the three couples get complicated when a love affair goes awry. The spouses suspect something is up, but they don’t know who is involved with whom.

Grant Gelvin is superb as the upper crust Frank Foster, who remembers his wedding anniversary but celebrates by himself, because his wife Fiona comes home too late.

Connie Terwilliger, as Fiona, shows class and dodges her husband’s questions about her whereabouts, trying to protect her affair with Bob Phillips, who works for her husband.

Jonathan Sachs excels as Phillips, showing how to balance the complexities of being married to his wife Teresa while having an affair with Fiona. He plays the dad of a toddler with much of the same remoteness he uses in his marriage, leaving the child-rearing to his already burdened wife.

Pint-sized Lynne Goodman is squeaky-voiced but full of energy, and uses lots of body language to make the most of her role as Teresa Phillips. She isn’t about to take her husband’s affair without fighting back.

Julie Anderson uses the right mousy touches for Mary Detwiller, who is socially inept and naive, but becomes the unwitting catalyst to resolving some of the romantic entanglements.

David Dart, as her husband William, pours emotion into his husband’s role. He never masks how he feels when the twisted facts reveal his wife might be having an affair.

Turn off the television and make a reservation for an evening of satire and wit, with laughter centered around an adult comedy.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through May 19. The theater is located at 13250 Poway Road at the Lively Center. An elevator is available to the second-story venue. Tickets are for general admission, or for seniors and students. For reservations, call (858) 679-8085. For more information, visit http://www.powpac.org.