Lighthearted Humor, Witty Dialogue Highlight 'Smash'
Hilarity ensues when a British millionaire jilts his wife and pursues the socialist cause in Alma College’s theatrical production of “Smash.”
Alma College presents “Smash” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17 in the Remick Heritage Center, Strosacker Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
Oct. 14-17: "Smash"
The British satire, written by Jeffrey Hatcher, is based on the novel “An Unsocial Socialist” by George Bernard Shaw. Sidney Trefusis is the millionaire socialist who leaves his bride Henrietta and sneaks into an all-girls school to start a revolution.
“Sidney wants to change the English government and institute a socialist state,” says Joe Jezewski, the play’s director. “An unfortunate characteristic of Sidney is that he doesn’t go about things in a subtle fashion, hence the title.”
Jezewski chose the play because he gravitates toward the works of George Bernard Shaw.
“I was happy to find that Hatcher captured the essence of the novel,” he says. “One way he does this is through language. Shaw has a unique writing style, and Hatcher captures this through the dialogue in the play.”
One of the main differences between the book and the play is the setting, which Hatcher moves from 1883 to 1910.
“Physical fitness and outdoor sports were very popular during this time, so a lot of the play takes place on a croquet lawn, touching on the idea that ‘life is a blood sport,’ which is the overreaching image throughout the play,” says Jezewski.
Gowen senior Logan Ricket performs as Sidney, while Findley, Ohio senior Tara Bouldrey perform as Sidney’s wife, Henrietta Jansenius. Both say that the play has an energy that strikes from the moment the curtains are drawn.
“A lot of plays start slow, giving you all kinds of background information,” says Ricket. “But the first line of this show is ‘I’m leaving you,’ where Sidney abandons his wife the night of their wedding. It starts right away and doesn’t stop until the end. There’s never a dull moment.”
“For me, when I’m viewing a performance, I’m going on a ride with the protagonist,” says Bouldrey. “This particular ride with Sidney is just so thrilling because you follow along as he formulates his plans and watch them crumble.”
While the play does deal with serious themes, Jezewski says, “It’s done in a lighthearted way. It’s very layered, and the performance is really enacted in the spirit of fun.”
The actors and the director both declare that the play will be a witty, enjoyable event for all.
“Why not come?” says Bouldrey. “Our play is like a live movie and with more than fluff; it’s filled with smart humor that the audience will appreciate. It’s just going to be a big ball of fun!”
“Theatre is such an important part of our society and culture,” says Ricket. “What’s more, it’s just two hours out of your night, so take the time to come. We’ve been having a blast, so we know the audience will too.”
Posted: Wed, October 6th, 2010 at 4:42PM