BWW Reviews: Sandy Rustin's Newest Play THE COTTAGE at The Engeman
In attending the newest work from Sandy Rustin, The Cottage, a 2014 Reva Shiner Comedy Award finalist, you will feel inspired watching an original production being developed. This hilarious story, inspired by the works of Noel Coward, runs through September 6th at the gorgeous John W. Engeman Theatre of Northport, Long Island.
Wonderfully directed by BT McNicholl, it seems difficult to tell you about the tale without giving away the entire story and/or diminishing the comedic value. It revolves around a family in addition to some crazy characters with several storylines and many hysterical twists filling this two-act play. You truly become engrossed in the conversations and hilarity as the production has clever, enthralling writing and unfolds at a quick pace. To speak generally, this story is about "sex, betrayal, and, oh yes, love" as per the Engeman's playbill.
Naturally, Mr. McNicholl's ensemble cast is top-notch. The six person cast consists of Henry Clarke as Beau, Jamie Laverdiere (Broadway: The Producers, Pirate Queen, et. al.) as Clarke, Tony nominee Christiane Noll (Broadway: Ragtime, Chaplin, et. al.) as Marjorie, Rachel Pickup as Sylvia, Brian Sgambati (Broadway: The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, et. al.) as Richard, and Lilly Tobin as Dierdre. They all work incredibly well together and superbly deliver the zany shenanigans much to the approval of the enthusiastic audience. You will see their chemistry and timing are first rate.
Another highlight is the incredibly stunning set created by Engeman vet Jonathan Collins with Eric Reynold's coordinating the props. As suggested from the response of my fellow patrons first walking into the theatre, Mr. Collins outdid himself with the rustic yet homey ambiance of the family's English countryside cottage. The addition of Mr. Reynolds' beautiful props ideally exhibited the upper class lifestyle of the family. To complete the beautiful overall look of the stage, Tristan Raines' costumes and Driscoll Otto's lighting are exquisite.
And so, The Cottage is indeed another hit for the Engeman. An engaging, amusing story and a divine, Broadway caliber cast make for a delightful night of theatre.
The Cottage is presented through September 6th at the John W. Engeman Theatre of Northport, Long Island. By Sandy Rustin, Directed by BT McNicholl, Scenic Design by Jonathan Collins, Costume Design by Tristan Raines, Lighting Design by Driscoll Otto, Sound Design by Laura Shubert, Hair & Wig Design by Leah Loukas, Props Design by Eric Reynolds, Casting by Wojcik/Seay Casting, Stage Management by Devin Day. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.
Photos by Michael DeCristofaro