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Hay Fever Review
Currently on Center Stage,“Hay Fever” directed by Bill Falcone has four productions left at the Birdcage Theatre located at 1740 Bird Street, Oroville. The remaining dates are Thursday, October 4 through Saturday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m. and one remaining matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 7.
In “Hay Fever,” the Bliss family, who live their lives as if they are center stage and the rest of the humanity is nothing more than props, is a natural backdrop to showcase the droll, and sometimes raucous humor that flows throughout in this 1925 Noel Coward play. Carole Falcon and Graham Abernathy play self-absorbed parents, Judith and David Bliss along with their children, Sorel played by Christine Fleisher and Mike Williams who plays Simon are overly indulged adult children and pawns in their parents’ world of emotional extremes set in the 1920s in England.
These four brilliantly bring to life a portrait of the Bliss family and are partially exposed early in the play when Sorel declares, “Abnormal, that’s what we are” to her brother, Simon.
The Bliss family members have each invited a guest to spend the weekend at their home without letting others family members know ahead of time. When the guests arrive, a diplomat, Richard played by Dennis Perry; a not too bright flapper played by Kate Write; Frank Eggan a boxer; and Christine Fleisher as a sophisticated vamp, each becomes disenchanted and befuddled by the family’s total lack of connection to reality or proper social etiquette. Heather Cardwell plays the maid, Clair.
As Bill Falcon noted, “The family has fun torturing these poor guests. They’re mad, don’t you know? Do you suppose they know?” The guests, ignored, pushed around and pulled into scenarios become allies and sneak out of the Bliss home, unnoticed. Once their absence is noted, the family’s only response is to say, “How rude,” as they immediately dismiss the whole thing sliding back into their world, where they are Center Stage.
Tickets are $15 dollars each. Thrifty Thursday tickets are half price. Ticket outlet: Betty Jean’s located at 1920 Bird Street, Oroville, or call the Birdcage at (530) 533-2473 (BIRD) for more information.
–Theatre Review by Carol Kitchen