Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: NOW AND THEN at The Belmont Theatre

Production runs through March 27th

Review: NOW AND THEN at The Belmont Theatre Theatergoers may be unfamiliar with this hidden gem, but it is worth the risk. The intimate atmosphere of The Belmont Theater's black box playhouse works beautifully with their production of Sean Grennan's Now and Then.

Premiering in 2018, Now and Then is popping up in theaters big and small. Set in Mulligan's Bar, Chicago, this love story (with a twist) begins as the bartender, Jamie (Mike McGuiness), is getting the bar ready for closing time. With only a few minutes remaining, a stranger (Curtis Nelson) walks in and strikes up a conversation. Joined by Jamie's girlfriend, Abby (Jessica Oakhem), the exchange takes an unusual turn when Jamie asks the stranger to leave. Desperate to continue their conversation, the strange man offers them each one thousand dollars to close the bar and chat for another hour. With little hesitation, they accept the generous offer and begin sharing stories. The mystery of this late night guest causes discomfort as the small talk turns personal. The couple's agitation grows with the surprise appearance of yet another stranger (Becky Wilcox).

A show that revolves around four characters and performed in the small personal space of a black box, leaves lots of room for error. To pull off a show such a this requires not only four talented individuals and creative direction, but the cast must also have a certain believable look about them (no spoilers) limiting the casting choices. Fortunately for this audience, The Belmont Theater got it right. Light and sound (Judi Miller and Brandon Miller), costumes (Paul Lajkowicz), props, casting and direction (Chris Koslosky), acting, singing, and set design (Joel Persing) all worked superbly to set the scene and create the necessary illusion.

With such a masterfully produced show, it is hard to choose standouts as each cast member had multiple shining moments. Curtis Nelson's Man was spot on with a likable yet mysterious quality. Mike McGuinness's Jamie was always in character using facial expressions to help tell the story. McGuinness's ability to play off others and always be "in" the scene was commented on by many observers. Jessica Oakhem's Abby was adorable and funny. Her timing was great and her rapport with other characters was memorable. The fiery and passionate female stranger brought to life by Becky Wilcox created new depth and emotion to the show. Congrats to The Belmont Theatre for finding such a remarkable team.

Forgiving a somewhat lengthy and possibly unnecessary scene change, Now and Then at The Belmont Theatre went off without a hitch. While I had never heard of this play before, I will certainly be looking for it in the future. For more information about this and other shows at The Belmont Theatre visit: https://thebelmont.org/

Review by Jason and Julia Davis




From This Author - Jason Davis


Interview: Stephane Duret of KINKY BOOTS at Fulton TheatreInterview: Stephane Duret of KINKY BOOTS at Fulton Theatre
September 28, 2022

Stephane Duret is finally back on stage! The return of Kinky Boots to Lancaster's Fulton Theatre provided this seasoned actor with an opportunity to bring to life a favorite role.

Interview: Matthew Farcher of KINKY BOOTS at Fulton TheatreInterview: Matthew Farcher of KINKY BOOTS at Fulton Theatre
September 26, 2022

After being forced to shut down during the pandemic, Kinky Boots has returned to the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster PA. Along with its return is Matt Farcher reviving his role as Charlie Price.

Interview: Bryan-Keyth Wilson of FOR COLORED BOYZInterview: Bryan-Keyth Wilson of FOR COLORED BOYZ
September 7, 2022

After much recognition, including a festival finalist and selection for a prestigious showcase, For Colored Boyz on the verge of a nervous breakdown when freedom ain't enuff is making its World/ Regional Premiere. Written, directed, and choreographed by Bryan-Keyth Wilson, this choreopoem dives deep into the lived experience of five men of color and the challenges of a racist and oppressive society.

Previews: FOR COLORED BOYZ at Fulton TheatrePreviews: FOR COLORED BOYZ at Fulton Theatre
September 6, 2022

Known for producing outstanding quality shows in one of the nation's oldest opera houses, it comes as no surprise that the Fulton Theatre's next production is already swirling with Broadway buzz.

Review: CATS at Susquehanna StageReview: CATS at Susquehanna Stage
July 31, 2022

What did our critic think of CATS at Susquehanna Stage? What a fantastic night at Susquehanna Stage. While 'Cats' might not be everyone's favorite Broadway show, due to its limited plot and almost music review format, there is no denying that the energy of this cast, the creativity of the choreography, the amazing costuming, and live orchestra made this production of 'Cats' outstanding.