“The Philadelphia Story” debuts in Howard Brubeck Theatre

Students perform Philip Barry’s, The Philadelphia Story, at Studio Theatre Palomar College, November 8–17, 2013. Telescope/Niko Holt

Students perform Philip Barry’s, The Philadelphia Story, at Studio Theatre Palomar College, November 8–17, 2013. Telescope/Niko Holt

Palomar College’s Performing Arts Department took on a classic comedy, and they pulled it off.

“The Philadelphia Story,” written by Philip Barry and directed by Dana Case, is entertaining and easy to enjoy. The production was performed at the Studio Theatre at Palomar through Nov. 17.

The play took place in the luxurious home of the socialite family, the Lordes. The comic play follows the upcoming wedding of Tracy Lorde, and what unfolds after two reporters and Tracy’s ex-husband show up unexpectedly for the festivities.

The first thing I noticed when I entered the Studio Theatre was how beautiful the set was. The entire play took place on only two different sets, both of which were crafted beautifully. The sets were simple, yet achieved the ambiance and accompanied the storyline very well.

The Studio Theatre is a black box style theater, meaning it is much smaller than a traditional theater. The blocking and staging of the production worked extremely well with both the space and the set.

The simplicity of the sets made a perfect backdrop for the great directing and acting that took place on them. Case, a long-time adjunct professor at Palomar, took on this project and crafted it exceptionally.

Of course the acting makes or breaks any production, and in this case, it absolutely made it.Lead actress, student Katherine Heflin, didn’t start off perfectly, but shortly into the performance did a excellent job encompassing the socialite daughter, main character Tracy Lorde. The character had a somewhat emotional journey throughout the play, and Heflin portrayed it well.

The entire cast was distinctive and consistent with the portrayal of their unique characters, but Savanah Lyon stole the show. Lyon played the younger sister of Tracy, Dinah Lorde. She was not on stage much, but she didn’t need to be. When she was on stage, she shined.

From left, Carmen Otubusin, Savanah Lyon, and Tamaz Bolkvadze, in The Philadelphia Story, directed by Dana Case, at Studio Theatre -Palomar College, November 8-17, 2013. Niko Holt/Telescope

From left, Carmen Otubusin, Savanah Lyon, and Tamaz Bolkvadze, in The Philadelphia Story, directed by Dana Case, at Studio Theatre -Palomar College, November 8-17, 2013. Niko Holt/Telescope

One criticism of the production in general was that some of the comedic moments of the play were lost. Savanah, however, delivered these moments well and achieved laughs from the audience. Morgan Phillips, who played Alexander “Sandy” Lorde, also played his part well.

The play itself is very entertaining, easy to follow and very enjoyable.

I would recommend this show to really anyone who enjoys theatre. The storyline and themes of the play were written more for adults, so children may have had a harder time relating to it, but I wouldn’t say they couldn’t enjoy it. There were a few innuendos, but they were said in a way that did not make the show inappropriate for a younger crowd.

This show was a great reflection on the Palomar Performing Arts Department. I recommend that anyone who has not experienced a performance from the department to keep an eye out for upcoming productions.

Author: Jennifer Fasulo

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