Two Family Dramas directed by LAURIE RAE WAUGH

Director Laurie Rae Waugh managed to direct two stirring pieces opening on the same day, one mile apart.

Reviews by Stephanie Schwartz

MIRRORS by Steve Silver
The American Theatre of Actors
314 W. 54th Street, NYC

MIRRORS is the latest Mafia play by Steve Silver to be produced by the American Theatre of Actors.  The writing is funny, concise and clear.  We learn very quickly who the characters are and their relationships to each other.  The play was directed by Laurie Rae Waugh.

Ken Coughlin (Mickey “Mirrors” Miraglia) is wonderful as the Mafia boss of this group who just wants to retire to Florida – but situations require one more “job.”  His henchmen Bobby “Botz” Cross and Petey “Shakes” Salerno were played respectively and respectably by Larry Fleishman and John Sheehan.  The henchmen botched things up and distressed and distracted Mirrors from his goal.  The henchmen were inadequate for their jobs; the actors were realistic.

The set and lights were simple and attractive.  The music enhanced the atmosphere and attitude.

Once again, Laurie Rae Waugh got into the characters’ heads and personalities and helped the actors come to life. The show was excellent and I wanted more. Mr. Silver, is there an Act II?


 

ELLEN, TROY AND ELOISE by Warren Paul Glover
The Midtown International Theatre Festival
312 W. 36th Street, NYC

July 21, 2016 was the world premiere of ELLEN, TROY AND ELOISE by Warren Paul Glover in the Midtown International Theatre Festival. It is a very well written play.

The play is set in Melbourne, Australia.  At opening, Eloise is on the telephone getting the unexpected news of her mother’s imminent arrival.  Eloise, played beautifully by Lily Marceau Telford, hasn’t had contact with her mother in three years.  Eloise is trying to convince Troy, played realistically by Joshua Rugiano, that their relationship is over.  He is desperately trying to convince her to marry him.  Their argument is forceful, volatile and intriguing.  They seem like a nice, young couple.

Enter “mum”, played exuberantly and explosively by Beth Newbery.  Mum is wonderfully over-the-top! To say more would spoil the surprises.

Laurie Rae Waugh, director has extended the playing area (no small feat.)  The action takes place in Eloise’s and Troy’s living room.    Waugh has placed the kitchen off stage and the actors use this effectively. There were excellent touches, some subtle, some obvious, that reveal this director’s sense of humor and sense of character.  Waugh directed this play with a sure hand and the pacing was excellent.  However, I lost some of the lines because of the Australian accent coupled the very fast speech.  The accents were remarkable.

There were no light or set changes, and none were necessary.  The props were simple and sufficient.  The play is a delight, made more so by the excellent acting.  It is uproariously funny.  See it for an enjoyable evening.

 

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