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Published: Wednesday, 11/12/2008

Comedy to open brand-new stage at brand-new Bowsher

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Director Cindy Harrison says the new theater, with seating for 749 and state-of-the art equipment was a pleasure to behold. Director Cindy Harrison says the new theater, with seating for 749 and state-of-the art equipment was a pleasure to behold.
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Pillow Talk is the talk of Bowsher High School.

That's because the romantic comedy, which will be performed this weekend, is the first play produced in the brand new school's auditorium.

Cindy Harrison, who teaches English and directs the production, said the theater, with a seating capacity of 749 and state-of-the-art stage equipment, was a pleasure to rehearse in.

"We have so much we'll never use. There are 12 wireless microphones and lots of hanging mics," she said. "We have everything."

Dylan Corp and Sabrina Allen rehearse a scene from 'Pillow Talk.' Dylan Corp and Sabrina Allen rehearse a scene from 'Pillow Talk.'
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Karin Giffin, Bowsher's vocal music teacher, said the new theater is equipped with a Yamaha M2500 sound system that has 56 input channels.

"It's state of the art," she said. "To do musicals, I used to rent a sound system for $1,200. We no longer have to do that. It's really a special theater. It rivals professional places."

The performances are tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door, but play-goers 65 and older are admitted free.

Pillow Talk the play is an adaptation of the screenplay from Pillow Talk the movie, which was released in 1959 and starred Rock Hudson, Doris Day, and Tony Randall.

Zak Striggow, left, Christine Scharer, and Megan Guidry go through a scene during rehearsal. Zak Striggow, left, Christine Scharer, and Megan Guidry go through a scene during rehearsal.
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The film, set in Manhattan, was a big box office success and since then has become an American comedy classic. The stage adaptation was done by the late playwright Christopher Sergel.

The two main characters are Jan Morrow, a workaholic interior decorator, and Brad Allen, a Broadway song writer. They share a telephone line, which Brad ties up by talking and crooning love songs to his legions of girlfriends, much to Jan's annoyance.

The scenes involving the party line are acted in a set showing the two apartments side by side. When a frustrated and irritable Jan breaks in on one of Rex's romantic conversations, he accuses her of snooping. This hurts and angers Jan.

Naturally, Jan and Brad eventually fall in love, but not before Brad pursues Jan by passing himself off as a nave Texan named Rex Stetson.

Ms. Harrison said she selected Pillow Talk because she liked the story, although she said she hasn't seen the movie version in many years and lacked a good recall of it.

She said she also selected it for a very practical reason: the play has six male and 15 female parts. "I wanted to accommodate as many kids as I knew would be trying out for the play," she explained.

Senior Christine Scharer, who plays Jan, captures Doris Day's perky anger in the scenes in which Brad hogs the phone line. She stamps her foot and pouts, slamming the receiver down, when Brad makes clear he will not alter his phone habits.

As Brad, Dylan Corp, also a senior, plays up the insouciance that so annoys Jan.

Both teens have seen the movie. They said they were trying hard not to mimic the stars who played their characters.

"I try to be my own version of the character, which is not as suave as Rock Hudson's," Dylan explained.

"We have to embrace the characters for ourselves," said Christine. "We can't just play them the way Doris Day or Rock Hudson would."



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