BE CAREFUL OPENING THE DOOR TO “OUR HOUSE”
Since the average American household could afford it after World War II, the television has steadily increased its influence on its viewers, whether it is Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, the Ed Sullivan Show, 60 Minutes, Sunday Morning or American Idol. The viewing public makes its decisions based on what appears on the screen from morning to night. We watch avidly the drama of political tweets unfolding as well as the fate of a dozen boys and their soccer coach in a Thailand cave.
With her own personal stash of experience in the world of television, playwright Theresa Rebeck has fashioned a play that examines the obsession some, like couch potato Merv, have with “the tube,” the active dislike others like the purist Alice have with the “instrument of the devil,” the producers like Wes who want to control the air waves at his station and his star news correspondent Jennifer who is the face of his station. The Hole in the Wall Theater in New Britain is airing this controversial reflection on our culture, the good or evil of TV, weekends until Sunday, August 4.
Michael Serignese’s Wes runs his network like a dictator, often out of control, vitriolic with four letter words, but incredibly protective of the weapon he views as his key to the top, Suomia Dode’s Jennifer Ramirez. He demands her loyalty, even as he entertains a sexual relationship with her, making her the lead anchor of the morning news. While his second in command of the news William Moro’s Stu raises objections, Wes decides to share Jennifer with his novel idea, making her the voice of a reality show. He even wants her to share the interactions of the faces of the reality show on the morning news.
Meanwhile in St. Louis, the obsessive Merv drinks up Jennifer’s new role. He can’t put down the remote long enough to do his share of the chores at the house he shares with Alice (Dina Addorisio), Vince (Alan Burkholder) or Grigsby (Shawna Pelletier) or pay his overdue four months of rent or even replace the food he eats that belongs to the other roommates.
Before you can say Walt Disney three times fast, the two stories collide and the news room meets Merv’s living room in an unexpected turn that is alarming and dangerous to all participants. Can Merv be talked down from the tower of terror he has created by his savior Jennifer? Will there be casualties from this confrontation? Ryan Wantroba directs this current debate over our air waves and the influences it exerts on our opinions and beliefs with a steady hand.
For tickets ($20, senior and student $15), call The Hole in the Wall Theater, 116 Main Street, New Britain at 860-229-3049 or online at www.hitw.org. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 22 at 2 p.m.
Come witness how a television remote control and a container of Greek yogurt ignite a firestorm of protest.