Just Go To The Play!

Jim Amidon — I laughed so hard last night my stomach hurts this morning. Every time I twist or turn in my desk chair, I’m reminded of the great fun Chris, Sammie, and I had at the Wabash College Theater’s production of A Flea in Her Ear.

Maybe I’m just a fan of the slapstick-style and the fast pace of the farce, but it was a real joy to have that much fun in Ball Theater.

Click here to read more and see pictures from rehearsal.

Director James Phillips has conducted a silly symphony with a cast of newcomers and veteran actors alike. He told a reporter from the Journal Review that the play is akin to a well-oiled basketball team in a fast-paced game. He’s wrong, of course, unless he was referring to the up-tempo brand of basketball played by Loyola Marymount more than a decade ago.

Phillips’ production of A Flea in Her Ear is faster than a basketball game and funnier than a comedy show. Watching the actors come on and off stage, in and out of doors, falling all over the place demonstrates precise choreography and dozens and dozens of hours of careful rehearsals.

I’ve been going to plays at Wabash for 25 years and acted in five or six shows myself. I can’t remember when I had more fun than I did last night.

Spanish professor Isabel Jaen-Portillo steals the show. Maybe. Then again, she might be upstaged by the foolish, Puck-ish character played by Spencer Elliott.

But maybe Matt Goodrich’s marathon-run performance as two characters (involving about a dozen very fast costume changes) was the strongest. But wait, freshman Jorge Rostro’s boisterous, physical performance as Homenides — if nothing else — glues you to your seat.

French intern Emelie Darboise does a great job of moving from her native tongue to English in order to play a French woman in a play written in French and now translated and performed in English.

Yeah, the whole play is like that.

I’ve seen it twice now and I’m just now able to figure out who’s sleeping with whom.

Seth Einterz and Pat McAlister play delicious characters who are at once lovable and despicable. Typecast? Nah, they’re just really talented and seasoned performers.

James Morey spends half his time falling on stage; Mary Whidden (James Phillips’ wife) carries a young group mightily with a big voice and hilarious expressions; and Sara Locker is absolutely flawless in her dual role as Antoinette and Eugenie.

Clay Zook does a masterful job of running about the stage with one foot off the ground and the other kicking Goodrich’s backside, and Christian Krenk, who has but a handful of lines, makes a grand Wabash Theater debut.

I could go on and on, but my sides are aching and I need some ibuprofin.

Just take my word for it and get yourself a ticket to this riotously funny, perfectly executed romp of a good time.

  1. Jason Miller

    Is there any official recording of Ball Theater performances such as this that are available for purchase by alumni. I live in Arizona but would love the opportunity to view the College productions.

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