78 THE QUEENS COURIER • BUZZ • NOVEMBER 8, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
A VIEW FROM
BY CLIFF KASDEN
“The Babylon Line” at DCT
Still suff ering from writer’s block
and an empty wallet, a thirty-something
to 1960s Long Island. Th ere he teaches
Adult Education to a strange assortment
of suburbanites. Yes, “Th e Babylon
Line” takes a very important detour at the
Douglaston Community Th eatre. It’s all
aboard for some subtleties, stereotypes,
anger and aff ection.
Director Linda Hanson delivers a
thought provoking drama that is part history
lesson and partly distorted mirror
image. Th e classroom itself is complete
with authentic metal desks, posters and
a worn wooden fl oor (Ian McDonald set
design and construction).
Sharp tongued Frieda Cohen is played
by Sherry Mandery. Her character is
self-satisfi ed with her green garden lifestyle.
She is proud of her poor but noble
heritage of soot choked tenements and
Russian pogroms. It has earned her a
ticket to the wide open fi elds of suburbia.
Her neighborhood cronies Midge
Braverman (Jocelyn Weston) and Anna
Cantor (Adrianne Noroian) attend the
same synagogue sisterhood. Th ey share
recipes, brag about their children and
complain about their husbands. In a subtle
jab at the suburb’s cookie cutter attitudes,
Braverman wears the identical costume
and tightly pulled back hairstyle for
the entire production.
Emotionally and physically scarred
combat veteran Jack Hassenpflug
(Spencer Cohen) recites the same unsettling
prose with haunting honesty. Young
Marc Adams, burned out by drugs, is
well played by Robert Gold. With each
vignette, he compulsively accumulates
more and more sharpened pencils. He
is triumphantly creating his “magnum
opus”. Will it be coherent or a jumbled
refl ection of his life?
Th e most anguished characters are John
Carrozza as Aaron Port, the inhibited and
oft en frustrated creative writing instructor.
Even more tormented is his admirer,
Joan Delamond. She is played with a
surreal sense of right and wrong by Heidi
Jean Weinrich. Her narratives, which she
reads aloud in class, are bizarre fi ction.
But they just might be real!
Clearly, each role is deeper than the s tereotypes
they represent. For those of us
who remember the upheavals of the 1960s
and are living through today’s confl icts,
playwright Richard Greenberg’s project
earns a non-stop ticket through the
toll free lane of human emotions. Kudos
as well to stage manager Marionanne
Rourke and lighting/sound coordinators
Robert Stivanello and Gary Tifeld.
For information on this and future productions,
call (718) 482-3332, click on
www.dctonline.org, or DougCommTh tr@
gmail.com. As always, save me a seat on
“Seussical” is Magical Musical at RST
Th e wonderful, whimsical world of Dr.
Seuss is currently in celebration at the
Royal Star Th eatre in Jamaica Estates.
Dozens of bright, shining faces in colorful
costumes are just the right cure for anything
that ails you this fall.
On opening night, the clever Cat in the
Hat bursts onstage with warmth and mischief,
thanks to a great performance by
Amanda Montoni. Her young companion,
Jojo (Gabriella Almonte) earns our
respect as she sings her way through life’s
problems with “Oh, the Th ings you can
Th ink”, “Alone in the Universe” and others.
Good natured, and oh so loyal Horton
the Elephant (Dany Stravino) is tricked
by Mayzie the lazy Bird (Jessica Lausell).
Doesl Horton’s determination triumph
in the end? Th e colorful, clever county
of Whoville is fi lled with the most energetic
folks anywhere. Th e Mayor (Louis
DiBono) and Mrs. Mayor (Loramarie
Muratore) are dressed in bright yellow
from head to toe.
Th ere are valuable lessons to learn about
self-worth and humility from Gertrude
McFuzz. She is enthusiastically played by
RST veteran Monica Maddock. Don’t
forget busybody Sour Kangaroo (Dena
Civello). Her strong stage presence is just
perfect as she sings her accusations against
Th ere are more dazzling performances
by the Bird Girls and the Wickersham
Brothers. Th e Girls appear throughout
the show as a colorful and talented trio of
sassy, singing storytellers. Bravas to Anne
Marie Cahill, Colette Alfonso and Danielle
Fleming. Th e Wickershams, on the other
hand, are dressed in dark colors. Th ey are
the kangaroo’s henchmen. An excellent
and unmistakably acrobatic performance
by Jonathan Mora is shared with Tara
Mangione and Matthew Frenzel.
Proudly punctuating the performance
are Th ing 1 (Alex Jamison), Th ing 2
(Christine Rivas), General Schmitz (John
DiBono), Th e Grinch (Edwin Palacio),
Vlad (Michael Beltran) and Yertle the
Turtle (Richard Grillo).
As usual, Director/Choreographer
Maryellen Pierce, Musical Director Paul L.
Johnson with his band and Choreographer
Gabriella Marchese transform dozens
of local children and adults into a very
enjoyable evening’s entertainment. Kudos
behind the scenes to Erick Neilssen,
Amanda Doria, Alison Kurtzman, John
Palmieri, Madeline Corcoran (costumes),
Lisa Bondi, Abigail Persaud and the entire
creative and production teams.
For information on this and future
productions, call (610) 322-8498, surf to
www.royalstartheatre.org or “Like” them
on Facebook. As always, save me a seat on