Review of Westport Country Playhouse current production "Scramble" Playing July 9-July 26
by June S. April
"SCRAMBLE" IS SCRAMBLED, and NOT UP TO WILTSE'S USUAL THEATRICAL COOKING
Having seen seen a number of David Wiltse's plays at Westport Country Playhouse, this latest penning
does not begin to showcase his usual creative skills. It goes from moment to moment of zany schtick, never quite making it a play that is satisfactory, just periodically/frenetically funny. The second act was a bit better than the first, but ........
The six actors do a valiant job of it, and Eric Shim's Sound Effects were terrific (and a bit of a reminder of the old radio show, Fibber McGee's Closet), but the play, to paraphrase Hamlet just was NOT the thing.
Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Candy Buckley as "Sam," the Amazon-horse enthusiast was most excellently cast by Telsey + Company; but was she type-cast? Her role as the fast-talking agent in the hilarious "Little Dog Laughed" at Hartford TheaterWorks was as memorable. There is no doubt that she has flair in her acting style. And Tom Beckett (who plays the pathetic character "Johnson,") has shown more brilliantly in his various other roles at Westport Country Playhouse, including David Copperfield. This reviewers fondest and most cherished memory of this wonderful actor were in the Long Wharf and New York productions of "Travels with my Aunt." His portrayal of the dog still brings a huge smile of pleasure.
The duo personalities of "Jane," beautifully portrayed by Rebecca Harris get a thumbs-up for a job
well-done. There was just too much of it; not her fault. The same might be said for Colin McPhillamy's character "Otis." His timing and gesticulations were very funny, one might say there is a surfeit of it.
The sexy "Temple," as played by Jennifer Mudge could have been taken as a spoof of the sexy secretary from the fabulously wicked/funny movie and play by Mel Brooks, "The Producers."
The frenzied evening was just not up to David Wiltse's talents and it was just too long and too much of a not very good thing.