Dynamic cast brings audiences laughter in ‘Light Up the Sky’

The Channels Arts Pages | STAFF REVIEW

Courtesy Art

Courtesy Art

Courtesy Art

ELISE BREDENBERG, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The City College production of the play “Light Up the Sky” is a charmingly witty and hysterically amusing show portraying showbiz people at their very best and worst.

The play premiered on Wednesday, March 4, in the Garvin Theatre and is directed by the talented Associate Professor, Michael Gros.

The play gave a unique look into the world of theatre and how hard it can be putting together a new show, especially with a bunch of high-strung divas working under the same roof.

Peter Sloan, played by Joshua Daniel Hershfield, is a truck driver turned playwright. He has been working on the screenplay for two years and is extremely insecure with his role in the theatre world and, to say the least, is overwhelmed by his “co-workers.”

The reason Sloan’s story was made into a play is because of the risk-taking business man, Sidney Black, played by Raymond Wallenthin. Black loves to invest his money into things he believes in however stupid they may seem, and he always manages to come out on top, making a fortune.

Mr. Black, and his wife, Frances Black, played by Marisol Miller-Wave, both invested a huge amount of money into the play, expecting it to be a success. Mrs. Black, a wildly energetic and brassy woman, usually makes fun of her husband’s crazy business-deals, but since he always proves her wrong, she decides to get in on the deal.

The star of the show was without a doubt Irene Livingston. Played by equity actress Stephanie Erb, Livingston is the ultimate drama-queen, going from tears to laughter in a heart-beat. She is an extreme narcissist who truly believes the world revolves around her.

Livingston has some competition in the drama-department in the extremely emotional Carleton Fitzgerald, played by David Holmes. Fitzgerald is the director of the play and has just as much of the dramatic qualities as the actors, and he can’t help but weep over the smallest things.

The cast of the play has come together for a few hours before opening night, in the presidential suite at the Ritz Hotel in Boston. Sloan is very nervous for the opening, as it is his first play. The rest of the gang are overly confident, except for Livingston’s sarcastic mother and the very soothing, established playwright, Owen Turner played by David Couch.

The opening turns out to be a disaster and all hell breaks loose. Mr. and Mrs. Black are furious for having invested money into the play. Livingston has a dramatic but very entertaining breakdown, and the playwright Sloan books a flight back to New York, walking out on his own play.

The only character who truly has it together is Turner. He tries to talk some sense into Sloan by telling him how he has been in his shoes and that failure is part of the process of becoming a good playwright, but Sloan will not listen.

The play is very well put together and is very engaging. The dialogue is very clever and sharp. In some ways it reminds me of a reality show; a whole lot of drama over nothing. I very much enjoyed the show and I think it has a good point at the end; to not give up just because things aren’t going your way.

What I would liked to have seen more of was student actors. In total there was four in the play, but most only had a single line.

Besides that, all the actors were amazing. They were all extremely talented and fit their acting roles perfectly.

“Light Up the Sky” will run through March 21 in the Garvin Theatre.

Tickets are $8 for students, $16 for adults and $13 for seniors, for reservations call (805) 965-5935 or visit theatergroupsbcc.com.