BWW Review: BEAU JEST at Theatre Three
There is something very special about James Sherman's play Beau Jest now playing at Theatre Three. It actually reminds me of the television shows of the 50's and 60's (I Love Lucy for example). There is no message to preach; it is just funny situations, great acting, witty dialog, and a lot of heart.
Magnificently directed by Mary Powers, this charming production runs through May 7th at the prominent Port Jefferson venue.
The tale revolves around Sarah portrayed by Jenna Kavaler. She is a Jewish woman and, of course, her traditional parents want her marry a nice Jewish man. She is currently dating an executive named... wait for it... Chris Kringle portrayed by Steven Uihlein. Her parents think that they broke up, but Sarah next tells her parents she is now dating a Jewish doctor.
As you can imagine, hilarity ensues as Sarah plans a dinner party with her parents enlisting an escort service to send her a Jewish date to pass off as said doctor. They send Bob Schroeder portrayed by Brett Chizever. Bob is an aspiring actor and agrees to the shenanigans and, happily, he is convincing leaving Sarah's parents exuberant.
Ms. Power's cast is truly superb.
Theatre Three vets Ms. Kavaler and Mr. Chizever are absolutely wonderful in their respective roles. You'll find yourself empathizing with Ms. Kavaler's Sarah and all her frustrations; her biggest mission in life to please everyone that she loves even if that means she's compromising her feelings. And Mr. Chizever's comedy is top notch. His expressions and delivery bring roars laughter from the audience.
As for the rest of the family, Scott Joseph Butler portrays Sarah's brother Joel, a psychologist. Mr. Butler brings many laughs from the audience as well with his dry, blunt sense of humor. Ginger Dalton is hilarious as Sarah's mother, Miriam, and Bob Kaplan is a standout as Sarah's father who for the life of him can never find a parking space.
Ms. Power's creative team is also top notch.
Set in Sarah's apartment, Randall Parsons' set design is stunning. A large, comfy couch, dining set, grand bookcase, and armoire make up Sarah's living room. This is in present day, so the costumes were modern and relevant. Coordinated by Amanda Geraci and Teresa Matteson, suits for the men and cheery dresses for the women abound. Overall, the stage truly looked outstanding.
And so, Beau Jest is indeed another hit for Theatre Three. A stellar cast and relatable story make for a delightful night of theatre.
Beau Jest is presented by Theatre Three of Port Jefferson, Long Island through May 7th.
By James Sherman, Directed by Mary Powers, Scenic Design by Randall Parsons, Costumes by Amanda Geraci, & Teresa Matteson, Lighting Design by Robert W. Henderson, Jr., Properties by Linda May, Stage Management by Peter Casdia
Starring Jenna Kavaler, Steven Uihlein, Brett Chizever, Scott Joseph Butler, Ginger Dalton, and Bob Kaplan
For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.
Photo by Peter Lanscombe; Jenna Kavaler and Brett Chizever in Theatre Three's Beau Jest