The unusual love triangle at the heart of Stillwater Theatre’s fast-paced presentation of Lia Romeo’s knee-slapping PG-rated sex comedy, Right Place, Right Time, pits well-to-do, hot-to-trot divorcee Gloria Winwood (Meredith College Department of Dance and Theatre head and theater professor Catherine B. Rodgers) against her equally wealthy and equally oversexed daughter, Stephanie (Meredith senior Jenn Beckwith), in an open — and even friendly — competition for the dubious affections of increasingly intoxicated romance novelist Richard Lamparsky (Franklinton, NC actor Marc Brown), who still has some unresolved feelings for his snippy, rune-faced ex-wife Linda Martin (Meredith senior Spencer Powell).
Gloria picks Richard up in the bar of the Waldorf Astoria, where he is getting more and more sozzled while impatiently waiting for Linda to show up. Then the middle-aged woman-on-the-make whisks Richard upstairs to her luxurious suite of rooms, where Stephanie the boohooing bride-to-be is wondering why her runaway bridegroom Mark (recent University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate Brett Yates) is an embarassing no-show on their wedding day.
After Richard and Stephanie drown their separate sorrows in alcohol, quicker than you can say Rebound Romance, a marathon session of bedroom bingo ensues. Then Linda and Mark turn up unexpectedly and at different times, like two proverbial snakes at a garden party. But will the unwelcome appearance of Richard’s ex-wife and Stephanie’s ex-fiancé squelch the Kardasian-like ardor that’s raising the room temperature 10 degrees? Dear reader, you will have to attend Right Place, Right Time to find out.
Marc Brown proves to be a fine straight man for the man-hungry mama played with great gusto by Cathy Rodgers, and he provides the perfect foil for Stephanie’s Machiavellian machinations. Jenn Beckwith is amusing as the jilted heiress determined to get sweet revenge between the sheets; but from his initial entrance, Brett Yates makes Mark, the fickle heir to the Spork fortune, too frantic. In fact, he nearly flies to pieces in his initial wham-bam reconciliation scene. But Spencer Powell is better as accident-prone accountant Linda Martin, whose sour facial expressions make it look like she was weaned on a lemon.
Stillwater Theatre guest director Josh Benjamin whips up this comic soufflé like an Iron Chef, scenic designer Paul Paliyenko and costume designer Dr. Rebecca Bailey dress the set and the cast for success, and the contributions of lighting designer Jim Zervas and sound designer Julie Jones are likewise laudable.
Lucky Triangle theatergoers who attend this latest production by Meredith College’s professional-theater-company-in-residence will find that they are in the right place at the right time for laughs.
SECOND OPINION: Sept. 25th Raleigh, NC News & Observer review by Roy C. Dicks: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/09/25/701463/review-sexual-escapades-light.html. (To read Triangle Arts & Entertainment’s online version of the Sept. 23rd Triangle Theater Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2010/09/right-place-right-time-is-a-smartly-written-fast-paced-hilarious-look-at-contemporary-romantic-relationships/.)
EDITOR’S NOTE: To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.
Stillwater Theatre presents RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME at 8 p.m. Oct. 2 and 3 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Studio Theatre in Jones Hall at Meredith College, 3800 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.
TICKETS: $15 ($10 students and seniors and FREE for Meredith students, faculty, and staff).
BOX OFFICE: 919/760-2840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This review is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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