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Tuesday, 08 January 2013 09:11

Theatre Review >> The Gambler’s Daughter

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Gambling Is More Than Family Affair In “The Gambler’s Daughter”

Take the colorful words of playwright Paul North, the energetic direction of Brian E. Smith and put them together with a multitalented cast and you have The Eclectic Company Theatre’s production of “The Gambler’s Daughter” in North Hollywood.

"The Gambler's Daughter"  is a story of a granddaughter coming home to her abandoned father after seven years of only ever writing letters to him. What she finds is a new home where her grandfather and father have not really changed and there is a new face or two now living under that same roof she once called home.

Laura Michl plays the granddaughter Mary and Edmund Wyson as her father Lloyd. They both feel each other’s on-stage angst yet keep the alienation of their seven year non-communication gap clearly apparent.

Now for me it was a pure delight watching C. Ashleigh Caldwell playing Elaine, the sassy, feisty, independent, single mother who stirs up more than trouble in this dysfunctional family. Ashleigh was energetic, passionate and extremely sharp with her humor and bold characterization, which was a real treasure to watch.

J. R. Mangels plays Jack, the new fiancé who has more than that self-centered-motivation behind his marriage to Mary. Jack gives an honest and sincere take on a man who obviously is not in this relationship for love and does an amazing twist of a disorientated drunk! The chemistry between Ashleigh and J.R. was enticingly palatable.

Elaine’s only son Willy, played sharply by Tyler Derench, gives the whole family a shake or two. Tyler is quick and persistent in his delivery of a 16-year-old who just learned he has a sister from another mother. Again, the chemistry between Tyler and Ashleigh was raw and sharply clever which was just pure entertainment to watch.

Enter grandpa, played by actor John Dickey, in his wheelchair who, throughout the production, delivered some of the wittiest and sharp-tongued bits of observation and sarcasms. He had the quaint duty of literally speaking out loud what the audience is probably thinking.

This was a fun production with some serious commentary on jobs, gambling issues and the idea that lives can be separated and combined based on a series of misconceptions or even unread letters written over seven years. With a wonderful set design by Brian Cole, this production of “The Gambler’s Daughter” was a fun and passionate production to watch. It touches on family, friends and relatives as well as the downfalls of alcohol and gambling. You can always expect originality and loads of talent from The Eclectic Company Theatre.

Pictured: C. Ashleigh Caldwell (l.), JR Mangels, Tyler Derench, Laura Michl.

Read 3130 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 09:15
Lorenzo Marchessi

Based in Southern California, not far from Downtown Hollywood - Lorenzo Marchessi. has always enjoyed movies, music and theatre first hand. Currently living in the San Fernando Valley Area called the ‘No Ho Arts District properly’ (Originally from Chicago!) – More than fond of Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Dramas, Animation, Independent Films and of course Comedies. I like the short film and the long film (as long as their good!) I saw my first film at the age of six - HELLO DOLLY and I saw LOGAN'S RUN ten times in the theatre! Having actually worked in the production of Film, TV, Radio and live Theatre I can always understand the work that goes into creating ANY Movie, Television Show, Theatre Production, DVD, CD's and even Live Concerts. I love to write and been doing it for decades - literally! I always appreciate any feedback or comments! P.S. My all-time favorite film is ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE along with THE LITTLE MERMAID and THE DESCENDANTS, my favorite TV series of all-time is STAR TREK as well as FRINGE and THE BIG BANG THEORY, my favorite performing artist of all-time is BARRY MANILOW, my favorite actor of all time MR. JACK LEMON and my favorite theatrical productions to date is WICKED and THE PRODUCERS. Contact: Lorenzo M. at Lorenzo@LandMProductions.com !

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