BWW Reviews: Vintage Theatre Features Strong Characters in the Thought Provoking LOBBY HERO
Vintage Theatre presents Kenneth Lonegan's morality drama, LOBBY HERO playing now through July 6th. The show centers around Jeff, a luckless young night doorman in a Manhattan high-rise trying to get his life together after being thrown out of the navy. He is as clumsy in life as he is in his affections for the rookie cop Dawn. However, she only has eyes for Bill, the cop on the beat who knows his way around the rules. When Jeff's supervisor and mentor William comes to him with a moral dilemma, Jeff's loyalty is put to the test.
"How do you know if you're right and everyone else is wrong or if you are just wrecking your own chances?"
Christian Munck was funny, relatable, and a total crack up as the sarcastic slacker, Jeff. He also brought such contrast to the role with doing the right thing and breaking free from his lowered expectations for his life. I especially enjoyed his awkward and adorable flirting with Dawn. Keithwayne (Kw) Brock Johnson was quite good, but could be a little more militant and stoic in the beginning. You could tell that he was a little wet behind the ears in acting, but I was thoroughly impressed at his confliction between doing what was right and protecting his family. Marc Stith was superb as the questionable cop, Bill. He certainly brought the skeez to this role that captured the audiences attention. His intimidation speech to Jeff was intense and I loved his shoveling the BS moment with Dawn. Speaking of Dawn, Miriam Tobin did an amazing job in this role and her accent was awesome. Her FU moment at the climax of the show had the whole audience cheering and I adored her tender moment with Jeff at the end.
I really enjoyed the facade of the working apartment lobby thanks to the talents of set designer Stuart Barr; and think that this is one of the best set I have experienced in Vintage's Black Box Theatre. There were so many nice touches including the front door leading in, the worn mailboxes, the brick wall dividing those outdoor scenes and even the ugly but noticeable emergency fire hydrant and exit sign. Lighting, by designer Keegan Jenney was effective, but I wish that there were a couple of more lighting features including one outside the lobby door and/or a lamp by the brick wall. Both of those would have added some nice soft lighting and shadow play effects for the outdoor scenes. The sound design by Luke Terry was a bit confusing for me. Out of all of the instrumental music available for a theatrical soundtrack, I am not sure why he chose to use such a recognizable musical theme such as House of Cards (that was instantly recognizable to me and several members of the audience), but I would avoid using such memorable television tunes in the future. I appreciated the costumes by Susan Rahmsdorff that were uniform as cops and security guards, but also distinctive for their characters. Director Linda Suttle brought her 27 years as a victim advocate in law enforcement to this remarkable production and it was evident. Not only did she pick a diverse cast that each rose to the occasion, but she also was crucial in having them explore their characters dynamic and interpersonal interactions that made this show so engaging and flow so smoothly. Job very well done!
So come see this compelling and wonderfully executed drama and decide for yourself - "What Would You Do?" if faced with the same ethical vs. familial situation. LOBBY HERO is enticing audiences now through July 6th. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, contact the box office by calling 303-856-7830 or online at www.vintagetheatre.com. Vintage Theatre is located at 1468 Dayton Street in Aurora, CO.
PHOTO CREDIT: DenverMind Media
PICTURED ABOVE: : Bill Stith, Christian Munck, Miriam B.C. Tobin, and Kw Brock Johnson
Christian Munck as Jeff and Marc Stith as Bill
L-R: Bill Stith, Christian Munck, Miriam B.C. Tobin, and Kw Brock Johnson