Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Silver Whistle

A few weeks ago I caught another Cumberland County Playhouse show on a closing night (I've really got to stop that. I need to see them sooner!). The Silver Whistle was a straight play. The first I've seen this year, and the first step in meeting one of my New Year's resolutions (to see more plays).

This three hour comedy was full of laughs and great acting (per usual with CCP productions). The show is set in the 1930's in an old people's home that is run by a church. Most of the residents are unhappy with their lives at the home.

Miss Hoadley, played to perfection by Carol Irvin, is a perfectly happy resident...because she consumes large amounts of alcohol (and won't share with fellow residents). Miss Sampler is the resident flirt who is always looking for attention from fellow residents Mr. Beebe and Mr. Cherry. Mrs. Hanmer, played by Weslie Webster (who is no where near as old as the character she played, but pulled it off with great talent), is a classic hypochondriac and continually the pessimist. Miss Tripp is the house mistress left to try to corral this rag-tag group of seniors, all while trying to deal with the Reverend Watson and his constant demands to "cut corners" because of money issues.

Then Oliver T. Erwenter, played by CCP's comedic genius, Jason Ross, shows up on the scene, claiming to be in his 70s and looking many decades younger. Quickly, Mr. Erwenter befriends Mr. Beebe and Mr. Cherry, all while charming the ladies of the house, including Miss Tripp.

In the midst of this, much comedy ensues and Mr. Erwenter helps the residents of the home, as well and Miss Tripp and Reverend Watson learn to find the joys in life no matter your surroundings or circumstances.

Although the entire show was wonderful, the best scene of the entire show was a scene in which Mr. Erwenter, Mr. Beebe, and Mr. Cherry find Miss Hoadley's stash of alcohol and indulge themselves. There were three chairs in the center of the stage and very little dialogue, but it was by far the funniest part of the entire show because of the actors' superb physical comedy. The entire theatre was in stitches the entire scene, and I'm almost sure I saw one of the actors come close to losing it a time or two as well.

The show was great comedy and a fun show all the way around. In general, exactly what I've come to expect from the Cumberland County Playhouse.

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