Review: ‘Dining Room’ Is a Table Full of Tales
What an enjoyable play “The Dining Room” is — the current production of the Sandbox Players at the Sunrise Theater. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, it had an original run of 18 months off-Broadway.
The entire play takes place in a dining room that represents many dining rooms in different homes across time. Playwright A.R. Gurney gives us a look at family life through good times and bad, as the importance and use of this room of the house falls in and out of fashion.
The play tells 18 different stories, set in a time when families of certain means sat down to breakfast, lunch and dinner in the formal dining room. The multiple scenes overlap and intertwine — some humorous, some sad, others meaningful and touching.
While the play is traditionally produced with six actors playing numerous roles, well-known area director Rod Harter decided to involve as many people as possible since this is community theater. He wanted to cast a “fair cross-section of young and experienced talent.” He cast 16 actors to play multiple roles.
Overall, the actors truly carried the play, and I found it to be an enjoyable performance. While I am hesitant to single out members of the cast — they all did remarkable jobs — I really enjoyed Vertrees Hollingsworth in some of his roles, along with Don Bridge, Loretta Aldridge and Kimberly Corrigan.
Again, they all did outstanding jobs playing multiple roles. The play moved along seamlessly, taking the audience through time. It weaves together many different and varying story lines. Many still stand the test of time.
I found myself thinking about the dining room in the home where I grew up in Aberdeen. We used it mainly for formal family diners. I never realize so much could happen in one room of the house.
There is still time to enjoy this wonderful play. It runs Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets can be reserved by calling (910) 295-5828.
Contact David Sinclair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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