BWW Review: AN ACT OF THE IMAGINATION at The Hampton Theatre Company

BWW Review: AN ACT OF THE IMAGINATION at The Hampton Theatre Company

Canadian playwright Bernard Slade is perhaps best known for his 1975 Broadway debut play Same Time, Next Year in addition to his TV credits. Out of his usual comedic realm, Mr. Slade proves versatile with this gripping British who-dun-it play, An Act of the Imagination, currently being presented by the Hampton Theatre Company through April 9th at the Quogue Community Hall.

The tale centers on mystery novelist Arthur Putnam who, like Mr. Slade, has written a manuscript that is not of his usual genre. Once he gets his wife's approval of the adulterous romance novel, things begin to happen. The many twists and turns will truly keep you on the edge of your chair for the entire production. And if at any moment you think you've figured it out, think again.

Directed excellently by Edward A. Brennan, Matthew Conlon strongly leads the cast as Arthur. Mr. Conlon particularly balances Arthur's perplexity and shrewdness well. Arthur's second wife, Julia, portrayed ideally by Rebecca Edana, is indeed the hinge of this tale. And Jesse Pimpinella portrays a perfect annoying, spoiled, mooching son in the role of Simon - Arthur's son, not Julia's. Also a highlight is Long Island theatre vet James M. Lotito, Jr. who is superb as Detective Sergeant Fred Burchitt. Add in Amanda Griemsmann, Meggie Doyle, and Cesa Pledger as, shall we say, some mysterious ladies, and you'll be thoroughly absorbed with this stupendous cast and show.

Mr. Brennan's creative team is terrific as well. As you walk into the intimate theatre, you'll immediately notice the gorgeous drawing room set done by Sean Marbury. Warm, rich colors fill the stage with a sophisticatedly furnished décor done by Diana Marbury (These two always have such great taste). This is stunningly enhanced by Teresa LeBrun's top-notch costumes (the ladies dresses are gorgeous) and the wonderful lighting and sound design by Sebastian Paczynski and Rob Dowling, respectively.

And so, An Act of the Imagination, is indeed another hit for the Hampton Theatre Company. They wrap up their 32nd season with their next show, Alarms & Excursions, which begins Memorial Weekend. It would certainly be a crime to miss this.

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By Bernard Slade, Directed by Edward A. Brennan, Set Design by Sean Marbury, Lighting Design by Sebastian Paczynski, Set Décor by Diana Marbury, Costume Design by Teresa LeBrun, Stage Management by Chrissie DePierro.

Starring Matthew Conlon, Rebecca Edana, Jesse Pimpinella, James M. Lotito, Jr., Amanda Griemsmann, Meggie Doyle, and Cesa Pledger

Performance Schedule: Quogue Community Hall, 125 Jessup Avenue, Quogue, NY. Thursdays and Fridays at 7:00pm, Saturdays at 8:00pm, April 8th at 2:30pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm. $30 Adults, $25 Seniors (exc. Sat. eve), $15 Under 35 (with ID), $10 Students (under 21)

For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 866-811-4111 (OvationTix) or visit www.hamptontheatre.org.

Photo by Tom Kochie; Cast members Matthew Conlon and Rebecca Edana

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