…Everything about this rendering of Rattigan’s play, which opened in London in 1954 and on Broadway in 1956, is sheer perfection: every performance, the set, the costumes, the invisible effortless direction, the brief musical interludes — all make for one of the most exhilarating evenings of theater I have ever experienced.
BY TERENCE RATTIGAN
DIRECTED BY LIN SNIDER and JUSTIN BENNETT
An AEA Showcase Production
OCTOBER 2 – 5 8:00 pm
OCTOBER 5 – 6 2:00 pm
West End Theater
86th and West End Ave.
The first of the two plays Table by the Window takes place in winter and introduces us to the main set of residents of the hotel owned by the Miss Cooper, a seemingly aloof and efficient proprietress (Anna Marie Sell); Mrs. Railton-Bell (SuEllen Estey), a snobbish proper matron who has an absent daughter, Sibyl; Lady Matheson (Colleen Kennedy) is an upper crust though now impoverished dithery widow of a civil servant; Miss Meacham (Stephanie Barton-Farcas), a doughty outspoken spinster and spiritualist whose main interest is a close study the daily racing form; and Mr. Fowler (Roger Rifkin), a mild-manner retired public school master (waiting in vain for visits from his former students). Adding some youthful energy to the mix is Charles Stratton (Sean David Johnson), a young medical student and his girlfriend Jean Tanner (Jenelle Sosa) — staying in individual rooms, of course. John Malcolm (Len Rella), another permanent resident, is a pugnacious radical journalist with a drinking problem as well as being a disgraced former member of Parliament who served time for assaulting his former wife, an aging American fashion model, Anne Shankland (Renee Stork).
To read Jay Reisberg’s full review on CultureCatch.com, click here: http://culturecatch.com/theater/separate-tables
Kudos to Out of the Box Theatre Company for producing Terence Rattigan’s “Separate Tables” with its cast of 20, including a pianist, at a time when a cast size larger than 10 in a nonmusical is considered huge. The performance space chosen for the production was suitable for the size of the set and cast, all well-managed by directors Lin Snider and Justin Bennett. Although there were several stand-out performances, James Harter in the role of Major Pollack was a stand-out above the stand-outs. His endearing performance made me forget that David Niven played the role of the Major and won the Academy Award for doing so in 1958.
–Gayle Stahlhuth, Artistic Director, East Lynne Theater Company