Talent Abounds In HFCC Comedy

Richard Marsh/Dearborn Press and Guide/December, 1989

If the talent in the next few plays at Henry Ford Community College can remain as strong as it was in last week’s production of “Room Service,” then area play goers have a real treat in store for them.

The zany characterizations provided by several of the performers were hilarious, particularly those of Victor G. Bidini as hotel executive Gregory Wagner and Michael Naughton as the Britisher, Faker England. Timing and agility are extremely important when it comes to physical slapstick and Naughton had both. Keeping the antics in step by playing the straight man was lead Michael Stevens, who could have passed for a young Howard Keel in the show. Although Catherine Malchow appeared to have done everything right in portraying hotel assistant manager Josephine Gribble, there seemed to be something missing in her overall facade as if perhaps she was not completely comfortable with her character yet.

Plays such as “Room Service” rely so much on timing and colorful acting. Director George Popovich brought his cast up to a level able to meet these requirements. The production was a bit slow at first, but the pace picked up towards the end of the first of the three acts. After that, the pace and hilarity were non-stop. There is a fine line in this type of comedy with pace: if the actors are too slow, the show drags, too fast, the laughs are lost because the timing is off. This show had perfect timing for a farce due to no doubt to the precise efforts of the director. This show is funnier than the origial Marx Brothers film–a great night out.

Cast

  • Sasha Smirnoff: Paul Spaniolo
  • Gordon Miller: Michael Stevens
  • Josephine Gribble: Catherine Malchow
  • Faker Englund: Michael Naughton
  • Leo Davis: Mathew J. Cahill
  • Miss Jenkins: Kathy Gonzales
  • Timothy Hogarth: Steve Bielawski
  • Bank Messenger: Paul Spaniolo
  • Senator Blake: Edwin C. Snoke MD
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