|Reaction to HAY FEVER at City Lit is pure laughter! |
First written and produced in 1925, HAY FEVER has definitely stood the test of time. Noel Coward’s 100-year masterpiece has endured because, unfortunately, poor manners and inhospitality never go out of style. And they’re just as relevant today.
In the capable hands of City Lit Producer and Artistic Director, Terry McCabe, HAY FEVER goes the distance with a stellar cast that delivers on Coward’s original intention – poke fun at the upper class, whose behavior is anything but.
Considered both a comedy of manners and a farce, the show lampoons four members of an eccentric upper-class English family who live in a peaceful countryside estate. Without consulting anyone else, they’ve each invited a guest to spend the weekend. Pity the poor guests.
From thoughtlessness, horrible food, and lack of decent accommodations, the guests are forced to commiserate with each other as well as showered with false declarations of love. Hilarity ensues.
The cast play their roles perfectly. The play stars Betsy Pennington Taylor as Judith Bliss, the absent-minded retired actress who is the wife and mother of the bad-mannered hosts. She is excellent as the diva who longs to return to the spotlight. Stephen Fedo is Judith’s novelist, put upon husband David Bliss. Their children are Travis Shanahan as Simon, and Lizzie Williams as Sorel.
Guests feature Robert Hunter Bry as Judith’s fan Sandy Tyrell, Elizabeth Wigley as the vampish Myra Arundel, Melissa Brausch as the dim but good-hearted flapper Jackie Coryton, and Gerrit Wilford as diplomat Richard Greatham. marssie Mencotti is hilarious as housekeeper Clara who gets tons of laughs every time she’s on stage.
Look for Noel Coward’s signature move as seen in his other plays (Private Lives, Blithe Spirit) where the four guests tiptoe out of the house while inside the house, the drama continues!
Kudos to Ray Toler (Scenic Design) for his authentic setting of an English manor and Rachel S. Parent for her beautiful, colorful costumes that enrich every scene.
The play runs through October 9 at City Lit, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr located inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church. Info and tickets at www.citylit.org and by phone at 773-293-3682.
Proof of vaccination must be shown and masks are required throughout the performance.
Photos are courtesy of City Lit