Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: MR. PIM PASSES BY Creating Havoc via a Tale of Mistaken Identity

Review: MR. PIM PASSES BY Creating Havoc via a Tale of Mistaken Identity

MR. PIM PASSES BY debuted on the stage in 1919, written by A.A. Milne (1882-1956) Although he will be known forever for his children's literature as the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, Milne also wrote numerous plays and screenplays, books of poetry, and seven novels. One of Los Angeles' most honored directors, Jules Aaron, directs the new Theatre 40 production of this 99-year old drawing room comedy. And while the plot line may seem a bit simple with just a lot of talking and not much action taking place, Aaron's often modern attitude blocking perks up the production thanks to the skill of his dedicated cast and production team.

This comedy for grown-ups tells a tale of mistaken identity and the lives it affects after a mysterious stranger pops up at a Woodbury, Connecticut home. Review: MR. PIM PASSES BY Creating Havoc via a Tale of Mistaken Identity It's never explained why Mr. Pim is in the neighborhood, although it's very apparent he does not live in the area nor is he visiting anyone else who does. And as the story builds, you might decide he is a character much like Clarence the Angel in "It's a Wonderful Life," there to simply make sure that love rules the day.

Portrayed brilliantly as well as comically by Jeffrey Winner, Mr. Pim is a doddering old man who has much trouble with names. When he just happens to drop by the Mardens home one afternoon and announces that the former husband of the lady of the house, Review: MR. PIM PASSES BY Creating Havoc via a Tale of Mistaken Identity thought to be deceased, is alive, could it be the well-respected Olivia Marden (Roslyn Cohn) is really a bigamist? And what about her current husband, George Marden (John Wallace Combs) who is so upset with the news that his 19-year old niece Dinah (Nathalie Rudolph) and her secret fiancé Brian Strange (Troy Whitaker) dare not hope to get his permission to marry.

Allowing us to follow the action in the Narrator Ann (Laura Lee Walsh) who adds in bits and pieces about each character along the way to better guide our understanding of the sometimes too-fast pace at the beginning of the play. Review: MR. PIM PASSES BY Creating Havoc via a Tale of Mistaken Identity This was especially true when we first met Dinah, as Rudolph rattled off her exposition, information-packed lines so quickly that understanding exactly what she was describing was way too difficult to follow had it not been for the Narrator's guidance.

After intermission, Mr. Pim passes by again, confessing that he was confused and it is safe to assume that the lady's first husband is dead, just as the married couple had originally believed when they wed. But if her first husband had been alive at the time she married George, then isn't it true the couple must get legally married again now? Review: MR. PIM PASSES BY Creating Havoc via a Tale of Mistaken Identity Then things get interesting since without telling her husband, Olivia uses the knowledge to get what she wants - to force her husband to permit his niece to marry the young artist who loves her, or she will not marry him again. To make matters worse, she would even throw poor George out of his own house!

But, of course, this is a comedy and all things work out in the end. The fun is watching how the characters circle and taunt each other with information to get what they want. The best example of this is George's mother Mrs. Marden (Casey Jones) who, dressed as if she just got off riding her horse although she does not own one, makes her points or gets attention Review: MR. PIM PASSES BY Creating Havoc via a Tale of Mistaken Identity by employing the riding crop always in her hands.

Technical credits are excellent as always with set designer Jeff G. Rack creating an invisible back wall, hanging large decorative items on it by hanging them from the ceiling, allowing us to see exactly who is coming or going through the patio double doors. Michele Young's costume design includes touches of burgundy, pinks, and reds in every character's costume other than the Narrator who only wears black and white. Ric Zimmerman's lighting design creates colorful texture to scene backgrounds.

MR. PIM PASSES BY written by A.A. Milne, directed by Jules Aaron, and produced by David Hunt Stafford for Theatre 40, Review: MR. PIM PASSES BY Creating Havoc via a Tale of Mistaken Identity continues in the Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 on Thurs.- Fri.-Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 2:00 through June 17, 2018. The venue is on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, with ample free parking in the parking structure adjacent to the theater. Reserved seat admission is $30, and reservations may be made by calling (310) 364-0535 or online at

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

TEACHING A ROBOT TO LOVE to Make Australian Debut at Adelaide Fringe in February Photo
New musical Teaching a Robot to Love was awarded seven wins in the BroadwayWorld awards for the Los Angeles region this month. The awards honor the best in regional productions, touring shows, and more which had their first performance between October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022. Teaching a Robot to Love will make its Australian debut this February at the Adelaide Fringe.

ANGRY NEIGHBORS Danny Winn Signs With Exclusive Artists Agency Photo
Texas-born actor/producer Danny Winn, who stars opposite veteran actor Frank Langella in the recently released 'Angry Neighbors', has signed with Exclusive Artists Agency.

The Irish Tenors to Play Saban Theatre in March Photo
The Irish Tenors have been the acknowledged Celtic music kings since they burst upon the scene during a 1998 special. With ten best selling CD's to their credit, they share company with the likes of The Three Tenors and Andrea Bocelli as the biggest money makers PBS has presented.

LA Philharmonic Musicians to Play Chamber Music at First Presbyterian Church in February Photo
Los Angeles Philharmonic's Principal Clarinet Boris Allakhverdyan and Associate Principal Cello Ben Hong will join internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning 20-year-old pianist and composer Talon Smith for a very special performance of Brahms' Trio Op. 114.  Talon Smith will also perform his newly published composition “24 Preludes” for solo piano.

From This Author - Shari Barrett

Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six - acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. After teaching in secondary sc... (read more about this author)

Interview: Peter Noone Talks Touring with Herman's HermitsInterview: Peter Noone Talks Touring with Herman's Hermits
January 25, 2023

Herman's Hermits featuring lead singer Peter Noone formed in Manchester in 1964 and then took the world by storm during the Beatles-inspired British Invasion era. The group's success continues internationally, with the group touring to entertain not only fans from the 1960s but their children and grandchildren as well. So when I heard Herman's Hermits was set to appear at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on January 27, I decided to speak with Peter about the group's beginning and how life on the road has kept the band going for so many years.

Interview: Deborah Robin on Portraying Doris Day in DAY AFTER DAYInterview: Deborah Robin on Portraying Doris Day in DAY AFTER DAY
January 18, 2023

The DAY AFTER DAY musical shares the dramatic personal life story of Doris Day through her music, including many of her hit songs: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Sentimental Journey, Secret Love, It’s Magic, A Guy is a Guy, and Que Sera Sera. Since her popularity turned Doris Day into America’s Sweetheart in the days before the ever-present internet and cell phones, were you ever as curious as I was as to who the real Doris Day was after the cameras stopped rolling? And what does it take to bring such a beloved and well-known icon to the stage? I decided to speak with Deborah Robin about her devotion to the star and the role to find out.

Interview: Writer/Performer Anzu Lawson on the L.A. Debut of her Solo Show THE RUBInterview: Writer/Performer Anzu Lawson on the L.A. Debut of her Solo Show THE RUB
January 17, 2023

Anzu Lawson is gearing up to debut her second one-woman show, The Rub, inspired by her 30-minute single camera comedy pilot about her life as a stand-up comic who secretly pays her bills by being every Asian mother's worst nightmare... a masseuse. I first met Anzu when she was performing as Yoko Ono during the 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival, a role she inhabits with her entire body, heart and soul. So it makes perfect sense that The Rub debuts on Yoko Ono’s 90th birthday on Saturday, February 18 at 8pm as part of Whitefire Theatre's Solofest 2023. Here's my interview with her about the show.

Interview: Playwright Lester Probst on VOLUN-TEARS, A World Premiere Play About Sexual Harassment in the MilitaryInterview: Playwright Lester Probst on VOLUN-TEARS, A World Premiere Play About Sexual Harassment in the Military
December 10, 2022

ArtsUP! LA is presenting the world premiere of Volun-Tears, a powerful play by Korean War Veteran Lester Probst, based on the true experiences of women who have suffered sexual harassment and sexual abuse while serving in the United States Armed Forces, performed by U.S. Veterans. I decided to speak with Lester Probst on what inspired him to write the play and what message he hopes to instill in audience members to start the road to achieving equality within the ranks of our military, especially for women.

Interview: Cirque du Soleil's Stefan Haves, Creator and Director of SHAMBLESInterview: Cirque du Soleil's Stefan Haves, Creator and Director of SHAMBLES
December 7, 2022

The Actors' Gang is excited to present their family friendly holiday show, Shambles, an unbridled concoction of seasonal charm and sassy cunning all rolled up in a cirque-infused panto, blurring the lines between audience and performers. When I read that this immersive experience will drop theater goers into a 60's NASA holiday party complete with alien abductions, ugly Christmas sweaters, and free-flowing champagne offered as theatergoers meander through curated rooms of wonder, I knew I had to speak with the production's creator and director, Cirque du Soleil's Stefan Haves about his vision to bring such fun family fare to the stage.