One Act comedies please audience

March 1st, 2007

The One Acts come only twice a year and everytime they do you can anticipate it will be a good show. This year they took it to the next level with three very comedic performances. The actors of the One Acts performed well and looked like they had a great time doing it.

The shows were packed with energy and well placed comedic relief that sent the audience into fits of laughter.

Sophomore Brandon Keller holds junior Amanda Haywood in “Funeral Parlor.”

Sophomore Brandon Keller holds junior Amanda Haywood in “Funeral Parlor.”

Not only did the audience enjoy themselves during these performances but the actors did as well. The first show, written by Mike O’Neil and directed by senior Katie Seminara, was a parody of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” titled “Green Eggs and Hamlet.”

This show took Hamlet to a new level by using inappropriate rhymes to make fun of the sometimes complicated prose used by Shakespeare.

Just this alone made for hysterical interactions. The characters were more comedic versions of the originals. They were much more animated but not overdone.

The actors during this performance knew exactly which lines to deliver to put the audience over the edge. They delivered their lines with precision and confidence.

Senior Jared Petsy, who played Hamlet, was a very convincing man gone crazy.

Freshman Bridget Carey was a convincing, much more doe eyed and funny version of Ophelia. Senior Zach Miller played an excellent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who hopped from side to side to reveal the side of his shirt, which was different for each mood he had, bad and good.

The costumes in all of the shows were not extensive. A crown was the only indication of who the queen and king were and a sheet was worn to show the ghost of Hamlet’s father.

However, this added to the overall theme of the show which was to have fun with a parody.

The second show, written by Chris Durang and directed by senior Jessica Benacquista, titled “Funeral Parlor,” told an intriguing story of an awkward man just trying to make the widow feel better about her husband’s death. The punch line was that he struck out for a majority of the act.

Watching sophomore Brandon Keller portray this character as he struggled to say the right thing was one of the highlights of the night.

The end, however, proved to be the funniest part of that act. When Keller began to “keen,” which is an Irish phrase for sobbing, the audience roared uncontrollably.

The last performance was just as good as the first two titled, “English Made Simple,” directed by senior Matt McGrath and written by David Ives. The actor who played the so-called mediator of the story, sophomore Jon Sauline, was ridiculously good at his part. It was just the right amount of sarcasm without overdoing it.

He narrated and gave a pseudo lesson in speaking socially as two people acted out each scenario.Freshman Emma Taylor and junior Chris Angelotti delivered entertaining performances that gave the audience a new appreciation for awkward social interactions.

The directors were able to take a few of their own liberties during the show, which made it even funnier.

Seminara said they played around with the wording of certain lines and added a few when they found it appropriate.

It turns out that the John Carroll students knew what they were doing when directing their own play.

Most of whom are actors themselves on the stages of JCU they know what is needed to make an entertaining show.Their mastery of stage design was among some of the most impressive techniques displayed.

With a limited amount of space and quick scene changes, there didn’t seem to be any flaws in the setup. It did not feel like anything was missing in any of the scenes.

“The Funeral Parlor” set included a table of refreshments and as many flowers a person could receive. A group of guests stood at the wake making just the right facial expressions in response to Keller’s strange action.

Credit must be given to the crew in charge of lighting because it seemed like no mistakes were made and everything ran smoothly. The music was also done well and especially appreciated in the scene of “Green Eggs and Hamlet” when Hamlet and his Laerees had a dance off to the song “Push It.”

Overall, the actors as well as the directors displayed professionalism in these shows that impressed and wooed the audience. The “One Acts” lived up to every expectation.