PICT Comes Back Home
By Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
PICT Classic Theatre, back in its Main Stage located within the Stephen Foster Memorial, the Charity Randall Theater, has brought to life the Comedy, How the Other Half Loves.
The play, by Alan Ayckbourn, found its world premiere way back in 1969, but its content and it presentation this past week proves it can draw the people, the laughs, and remain as relevant as ever. If you are looking for something to do, and you have not been to the PICT then go and see this play. You will find a way to laugh.
The play itself, features a composite stage presenting two overlaid city flats that house two very different couples, the Fosters and the Phillips. This combination adds vastly to the comedic atmosphere. The actors use the silly aspects of the odd duality to their fullest providing a terrific spread of laughs as they deliver their performance.
The primary conflict of the play centers on an illicit affair; each couple find themselves embroiled with adultery. As the scoundrels fight to keep their tryst a secret they pull an innocent couple, the simple and nerdish Detweiler’s, into the mix hoping that this bizarre couple will inadvertently help them hide their infidelities. The laughs explode as the play unfolds.
All of the actors have provisioned a stupendous effort as each of them brought such realism to their parts, and the way they each cajoled laughter from the audience simply proved their talent all the more.
James FitzGerald played the hilarious part of William Detweiler. William succumbs to suspicion and gossip as he believes his very plain wife Mary had fallen for the outlandish Bob Phillips. His love for Mary drives him to make some very brash decisions and in the end he finds himself the fool. He plays his part superbly, and the audience rewards him with laugh after laugh. Take a bow James as you have done well!
Karen Baum plays Mary Detweiler to a tee. Somehow they take the beauty of Karen and they hide it away turning her into the plain Jane, nerd of a women, Mary. Her shock at the brash Bob, and her inability to just say no leaves the crowed in stitches. If I ever see another production of this play again, well, Karen will always be the bar by which I will hold all other Mary’s to. She did that great of a job.
Lastly, I wanted to call out the searing beauty of Daina Michelle Griffith who played the very manipulative, and yes, adulterous Fiona Foster. In her second consecutive show at PICT, Griffith made us believe all too easily how conniving this woman could be. Does she love Frank Foster as played by Philip Winters, or does she lust after Bob Phillips as played by Tony Bingham. I believed she did both, and like I said the tawdry beauty she played up and into; Fiona came off with perfection.
In the end, this comedy should be on your list of summer treats to take in and the venue couldn’t be more beautiful as well. So, go and support this theater as they move through another grand season, and don’t for get to go see just How the Other Half Loves.
How the Other Half Loves plays at the Charity Randall Theater through June 12. Tickets and more information can be found here.