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Review: Come Join the CHARADE at The B Street Theatre

Review: Come Join the CHARADE at The B Street Theatre

Charade runs through September 18.

A beautiful woman, international espionage, a mysterious stranger, and so many twists that you'll be dizzy-that's what's happening at the B Street Theatre this week. Based on the 1963 film starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, Charade has been adapted for the stage by Dave Pierini, who is also a Core Acting Company member of the B Street Theatre.

Everyone loves a whodunit, which is what you're getting with Charade...but more. Pierini's clever take on the classic incorporates modern elements, like a sighting of the Clintons and prolific cell phone usage, while maintaining the integrity of the original. It's a tale of hidden identities and deception, following recently widowed Regina Lampert as she discovers that her husband was not who she thought he was. When a dazzling stranger, Peter Joshua, offers her help, she feels that she can trust him to keep her safe from three merciless former soldiers. As the story unfolds and his identities switch with each scene change, we find out if his motives are as altruistic as he claims.

Dana Brooke is a stoic and serious Regina Lampert, bringing a wealth of stage and screen experience to the Sofia. Her playful side appears when she is with Jahi Kearse's Peter Joshua, who exudes confident masculinity peppered with occasional sensitivity. Dashing like his predecessor, Cary Grant, Kearse swoops in as a complex knight in shining armor to protect the lady and keep us guessing. The ensemble in this piece is the gold standard of versatility. Elisabeth Nunziato, Stephanie Altholz, and Dave Pierini change roles like my teenage daughter changes clothes (unlike her, they pick up after themselves, I'm sure). Shedding their previous parts like a snake sheds its skin, they immediately inhabit the next character and bring it to life. They provide the humor in this multi-faceted piece, so much so that I would almost call it a comedy.

Not to be outdone, Jerry Montoya's projection design transports us to mid-century Paris. There, we can feel the exhilarating thrill of a train rushing by, snow-ski in the Alps, dance in a nightclub, or even stroll down a moonlit Parisian street. Coupled with a streamlined and functional set by Stephen Jones, the story has a place to unfold that's both aesthetically pleasing and focused.

Known for quality theatre for over 25 years, B Street continues to deserve its reputation as a leader in thought-provoking local entertainment. Charade is a testament to the talent and dedication that lives on at the Sofia. Be sure to test your detective skills before it ends on September 18!

Charade plays at the Sofia, Home of the B Street Theatre, through September 18. Tickets may be found at BStreetTheatre.org, at the Box Office at 2700 Capitol Avenue, or by calling (916) 443-5300.

Photo credit: Tara Sissom




From This Author - Courtney Symes

Courtney Symes is a long-time theatre aficionado who has been writing for BroadwayWorld since 2017. She has been active in theatre and youth organizations in her community. After trying law sc... (read more about this author)


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