BWW Review: MOVIE MASTERWORKS at Dover Little Theatre
On Friday August 11th, Dover Little Theatre opened with an original play, 'Movie Masterworks,' arranged for stage and directed by Alex Oleksij of Nutley, New Jersey. The play was a compilation of several famous movie scenes, as well as some not so well known scenes, such as Sullivan's Travels, All About Eve, Double Indemnity, Crossfire, National Velvet, Rebel Without a Cause, Imitation of Life, Dr. Strangelove, The Hospital, The Breakfast Club, City Slickers, The Magnificent Seven, The Shootist, The Cheyenne Social Club, Bite the Bullet, Will Penny, King Kong, Ninotchka, Requiem for a Dream, Sixteen Candles, Chasing Amy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Adam's Rib, Dead Man Walking, Millions, The Americanization of Emily, and When Harry Met Sally.
The stage was appropriately adorned with the infamous 'Hollywood' sign, painted by writer and director Alex Oleskij, on five wooden flats.Each scene was introduced by the different actors who gave us a little bit of background on the movie and also set up the scene for us before we saw it. The last scene was a compilation of famous movie lines spoken by the actors. The lines were specifically written in an order that actually told a story!
I spoke with Oleksij and he said, 'Years ago I was watching 'Sullivan's Travels' and the first scene is one continuous shot... and I thought, 'This is just like a scene from a play!' ...and it suddenly clicked and I just began looking for scenes in movies that could be done on stage... and I spent several years putting it together. My initial presentation was a workshop at Nutley Little Theatre and it went over real big. The president at that time said 'Oh that's wonderful! Do another one!' So over the next several years, I did about five of them altogether.'
Actress Joanne DeCarolis said "It's actually way different than anything I've ever done before! The rehearsal process was so easy, which is great for summer! Each scene had it's own night of rehearsal. We didn't all get together until we did the right through... It was a lot of fun! I appreciated Alex's intros to all of the scenes! It was almost like a movie class!'
Neil Fitzpatrick, who was in one of my favorite scenes of the night, 'Sixteen Candles,' said "I had seen probably about 80% or 90% of the movies that were included in this show. It was a lot of fun to do... it was also a lot of fun watching the other actors doing their scenes.'
Lizzie Engelberth spoke about her experience with the scenes from the films she performed in, 'I had already seen 'Ninotchka' ... but I hadn't seen 'The Americanization of Emily' and I decided to keep my experience pure... but I tried to track down the script... so I actually read the script up to the point of the scene I'm in. It was really fun because you got to play in like two or three different sandboxes...'
The cast includes Marie Blado, Anne Bobis, Jaimé Crowley, Lou Cusano, Joanne DeCarolis, Bill Dietrich, Rene Dussault, Derek Egidio, Lizzie Engelberth, George Fear, Neil Fitzpatrick, Billy Horowitz, Pat Little, Joe McCraig, Zandalee Montero, Carlos Munoz, Alex Oleksij, Chris Poggi, Jean Potters, Tom Prickett, Liz Quiñones, David Smith, Rolo Tomasi and Laura Valente.
'Movie Masterworks' runs for 5 more performances; August 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 8PM and August 20 at 2:00 PM. Tickets, $18 each, can be reserved by calling the box office at 973-328-9202 or emailing the box office at Doverlittletheatreboxoffice@gmail.com. To purchase tickets, you can head over to SmartTix. Dover Little Theatre is located at 69 Elliott St, Dover, New Jersey 07801.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dover Little Theatre