“Play On!” Is an Outright Success
By ARIANNA SCAVONE
The Harlequin Players under the co-directorship of Mr. Darr and Ms. Arnesen excellently executed the comedy “Play On!” by Rick Abbott (How do you like that alliteration, Phyllis Montague?). The cast rehearsed three times a week for three hours at a time. “Everybody is almost continuously on stage, and there are no breaks,” said co-director Mr. Darr.
“Play On!” revolves around a group of struggling actors and crew members trying to produce the play “Murder Most Foul” while a whimsical playwright consistently alters the script. Darr explained that the conflict portrayed in this play is similar to what a realistic production feels like, but “Play On!” allows the cast to examine this from a humorous point of view. The show is a constant switch between the cast’s amusing dialogue and a weakly-assembled theatrical production. Basically, it’s a play within a play.
The actors who played actors on stage made impressively quick alterations between American and British accents and received light laughter from Friday’s audience. The part of Friday’s show that received the most laughs was when Saul Watson, played by Edward Tan, cried “Teletubby” instead of “telegram” in anxious desperation to remember his lines in the third act. On Saturday, the audience erupted when Tan went off script and called out for JHS alum and former Harlequin Player Greg Chestler instead of the scripted Miles Taylor. Phyllis Montague, played by Suha Syed, contributed the loudest humorous noises, and Violet Imbry, played by Vanessa Eng, served as the cherry on top of the sweet play, consistently adding joyful and innocent comments between her lines as “Murder Most Foul’s” Diana Lassiter.
Overall, the JerEcho is giving Jericho’s version of “Play On!” five stars. The actors were authentic in their roles, the dialogue was believable, and the timing of each character was spot on. All of the play’s components contributed positively to the grand finale, and it was refreshing to watch a clever comedy. “Play On!” was such a success that according to co-director Ms. Arnesen, “We’re looking forward to doing more comedies.”