By Marc S. Sanders

Directed by Marc S. Sanders and Amy C. Ragg

November 8, 2013 at 8:00 P.M.

It isn't often that Tampa Bay audiences have the golden opportunity to see a "World Premier", by a local playwright. So, right off the bat, I say, "BRAVO!" to the Carrollwood Players for their ambitious and innovative programming! And after seeing the play on opening night, in a theatre filled with a very appreciative audience, I say, "BRAVO!, INDEED!", for a wonderful evening of thought provoking, Contemporary Theatre!

The play is a series of 4 vignettes, set in the hallway, on the 5th floor of a 50 year old apartment building, in a Metropolitan City. The story revolves around the tenants. Some of the tenants know each other and some are "about" to know each other. As the story unfolds their lives intersect, as they witness their own personal comedies and tragedies in their lives, "Behind Closed Doors".

Marc S. Sanders has written a thoroughly amusing and compelling script. This is a contemporary serio- comedy with multi dimensional, well developed themes and characters that have depth and passion. Sanders proves that honesty mixed with comedy, can be married together quite comfortably, regardless of the subject matter. Sanders explores the struggles and tensions of city life, relationships, unemployment, sibling rivalry, healthy eating, divorce, sexuality, nosey neighbors and many other indignities, of "timely", everyday life realities. All of this is so relevant in today's social and economic challenges. Sanders does all of this with deep compassion and sensitivity, as well as finding humor, in "the human condition itself". The script is full of surprises and works in unexpected ways. It is outrageous and touching at the same time. Sanders forces us to look at ourselves within these characters with a realization, that we are all basically the same, with the same struggles, fears, and joys as the next person. And we try to maintain some sort of dignity in the process of our life's journey.

As the curtain opens, the lights come up, on the "vintage" apartment hallway, with 5 front doors leading to each apartment. There is a staircase (a "walk -up" building without an elevator) and a window to which we here the sounds of the busy city streets and the sirens of the Fire Station across the street.

Act I

In Scene One, "Not About Retail Anymore", Barry Silver, as the blustery, Mr. Kobiyeski, the building "superintendent", starts the ball rolling with a few good one liners. Isabel Natera, as Susan, the distressed, stylish business woman, gives an honest and confident performance opposite Eric Misener as Andy, her completely stressed-out, unemployed husband. Misener commands the stage and stops the scene with the realization that, "Life is not suppose to be like this."

In Scene Two, " Another Bottle of Soy Milk", tall, handsome, Mike Holden gives an engaging performance, as George, the "widower down the hall". Holden not only displays a flair for comedy, but his serious moments are filled with a gentle sensitivity. Holden is the perfect foil for the outlandish Christopher Daniels as Pierre. And Daniels, puts just right punch into Sander's one liners. "Bring me some Won-Tons from Tung-Tung's", about pushed me off my chair. Mr. Daniels is over the top, hilarious. He also shows his fine acting skills in his tenderness as well, searching for "the purpose of life".

Act II

In Scene Three, "Alternate Twilight On the Corner of Baltic and Mediterranean", Erica Heiden as Caitlin and Aushay Stinogle a Mike are a couple living together, fighting over a Monopoly game move. These two have great chemistry and are very believable in their roles. Ray Zacek gives an outstanding, emotionally controlled, performance as Brian, the "divorced Dad", to his angry, 15 year old, punky, pierced, pink-haired, teenage daughter Jenny, played to shocking reality by Amy Reyes. The intended "lack of "chemistry between father and daughter, was remarkably poignant. Mike Holden as George and Christopher Daniels brought the much needed comic relief to the scene, provoking gales of laughter from audience. Isabel Natera as Susan and adorable Sydney Bertram, as her daughter Jenny, lovingly complemented the scene.

In Scene Four, "Odette, The Nurse, the Fire Captain and a Tofu Turkey", Laura Roberts is perfectly cast as ballerina, Angela. Her ballet performance from "The Nutcracker" is stunning and so is she. Ms. Roberts shines in her acting skills, with with a natural, honest assurance on stage. Erica Heiden gives an impressive performance in the challenging role as Caitlin, the older sister. Tall, dark and handsome, Kahan Nazar was flawlessly charming, as Jack, the Fire Captain and Jae Welch made a fine paramedic. The entire cast entered in at the finale of the scene, bringing the story full circle.

Masterful Set designer James Cass, created a realistic looking city apartment building. His attention to detail is astounding. The Lighting design by Keith Postle and Todd Weiner warmed up the old building. Sound design by Miguel E. Rodriguez was clear as a bell. Stage Manager Kymberli Welch kept the show moving smoothly.

Kudos to Director/Playwright Marc S. Sanders and director Amy C. Ragg for good casting, a well paced, well rehearsed, interestingly staged, new work. BRAVO!


You can say, "I SAW IT FIRST!"

You'll be glad you did!

Please support Community Theatre and all of the volunteers, that put in endless time and talent, to make the magic happen, simply... "for the LOVE of the theatre".

"BEHIND CLOSED DOORS" - runs November 8th through November 16th, 2013
Ticket Prices $18.00 adults up to 62, $15.00 Seniors 62 and up and Student/Military with ID

Group discounts are available upon request
CALL - (813) 265-4000
The theatre is located at 4335 Gunn Hwy Tampa, Fl, 33618
The next production at Carrollwood Players is"IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Radio Show" Nov. 29 though Dec. 21st, 2013

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