Harold R. Moore/Dearborn Times Hearld July 27, 1988
First we had old time religion, then old time music. Now the old time melodrama is back thanks to Dr. George Popovich and his merry band at Henry Ford Community College in Brian Burton’s “The Drunkard” This is comedy at its most absurd best. The cast plays it strictly for laughs from start to finish.
You have the villain, a la Snidley Whiplash, played with a heavy hand and mustache by Paul Grammatico. There is the Dudley Do-Right hero played with a certain knucklehead humor by Victor Bidini. And you can’t forget the fair damsel with her non-stop batting eyelashes played with no purpose at all by Heather Capote.
All give good renditions in a vehicle whose basic charm is that no one takes himself seriously. Of particular note is the performance of Heather Latimer as the mad, demented siste. In a scene that is reminiscent of Macbeth, Miss Latimer gives a powerful performance that is a highlight of the play. Another top acting job is turned in by Rose Teper as the spinster Sophia Spindle. Sophia is an over-the-hill vamp who sees herself as irresistible to men. A fine caricature by Ms. Teper.
Just as in most old time plays, it is an audience participation play. You are asked, required even, to react to the heroes and villains on the stage. If you want to get involved in the action, then this is your cup of tea. There is also a sing-along and several vaudeville type acts that separate the three acts.
“The Drunkard” is perfect, light summer fare. The cast certainly deserves an “A” for their class in theater. As Dr. Popovich says, “The purpose of putting on a play is to give the students a vehicle to practice what they have learned in the classroom.”
- Mrs. Wilson: Patricia White
- Mary Wilson: Heather Capote
- Squire Cribbs: Paul Grammatico
- Edward Middleton: Victor Bidini
- Sophia Spindle: Rose Teper
- William Dowton: Steven Nicolich
- Agnes Dowton: Heather: Latimer
- Mrs. Miller: Julie Ward
- Mrs. Gates: Lisa Brouilette
- Mrs. Stevens: Andrea White
- Sam Adams: Steven Marschner
- The Landlord: Edward Torres
- Julia Middleton: Jennifer Gentry
- Arden Renceclaw: Mark Powell
- An Officer of the Law: Steven Marschner
- Villagers, Etc.: Julie Ward, Tiamat Parker, Kristin Klompeen, Denise Sikora, Laura Picken