OST REVIEW: 'I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES'
How do you relate to a 19-year-old daughter you haven't seen in 16 years? How do you jump start a sagging career? How do you handle a relationship with a beautiful 30-year-old? These major life crosses confront Herb Tucker in "I Ought to Be in Pictures."
Neil Simon wrote this play as a comedy. He felt no matter what the situation, if you found the humor, you could get through it. There were a couple of times during opening night at the Okoboji Summer Theatre that we found ourselves laughing but wondering if we should be crying.
Kudos to director Stephen Brotebeck for steering his cast of three into deep waters with sensitivity and flair. And what a cast he had!
Jay Huguley, of television and movie fame, came from California to portray Herb Tucker. Huguley was fantastic! He gave Herb gut-wrenching feelings and a totally dry sense of humor. It is a demanding role as he is off stage for only one short scene through the entire show. When Herb openly wept on stage, you could have heard a pin drop on carpet. The audience was immobile in stunned silence. That, my friends is what live theatre is all about. We were right there with Herb; up close and personal.
Stephens College student Devin Keating played Herb's daughter Libby Tucker. Her portrayal of Libby as a strong, independent young lady who has more energy than the Energizer Bunny, was superb. She may be a theatre student but Keating gave a professional performance. She was able to show us the outer confident go-getter while still feeling the insecurities she hid so well. Bravo Devin Keating!
The third member of the cast is Hannah Sutton. She played Steffy Blondell, Herb's love interest. Blondell is also a college student but portrayed someone about a decade older. Blondell gave Steffy just enough maturity to set her apart from Herb's daughter. She was beautiful both inside and out throughout the show. I enjoyed her professional-quality performance very much!
A huge standing ovation goes to Ken George for the magnificent set he designed. It was well-planned for the mobility of the actors as well as detail oriented for the eyes of the audience. Not only did he have to design one set, but make subtle but noticeable changes to the set at intermission. The walls in the kitchen changed color, the pictures on the wall were replaced with others, and even the plants were healthier looking. George is the king of detail. His talent is showcased to the max in this play.
Herbert Moore designed the lighting for this show. It was very well done. He even got the refrigerator light to go on; a detail often forgotten. The subtle dimming of the lights to advance the timeline was very effective.
"I Ought to Be in Pictures" is a comedy that both men and women will enjoy. It is definitely not what you would call a 'chick flick' but a lesson in self-esteem and relationships (male and female) within the family perimeter. OST's opener this year, "Godspell," set the bar extremely high and so far, the bar has not dropped.
This amazing production runs through Sunday night, July 1.