by Breanna Adamick
GC theatre’s recent performance of “The Ladies Man” by Charles Morey featured a relatively small cast of eight actors and actresses. The story primarily follows Dr. Hercule Molineaux (Eli Brown), who is rather erroneously dubbed “The Ladies Man,” as he attempts to remain in his wife Yvonne’s (Karin Powell), good favor amidst scandalous misunderstandings.
The Doctor’s valet, Etienne (Gavin Mann), faithfully – if sometimes reluctantly – assists him in his attempted deception, while characters such as Bassinet (Magnus Conway), a rather simple-minded patient, and Suzanne Aubin (Rebecca Hawkes), a devilishly flirtatious married woman, make it increasingly difficult for the doctor to fit the picture of innocence.
Additionally, the roles of Madame Aigreville (Hannah Soots), Yvonne’s fear-inspiring mother, Gustav Aubin (Zach Orellana-Kennedy), the intimidating military husband of Suzanne, and Marie (Izzy Wilson), the maid to the Molineauxs, bring even further drama and entertainment to an already lively performance.
Going into the viewing of GC theatre’s production, I had no prior knowledge regarding “The Ladies Man,” besides the most perfunctory insight from the posters around campus. This is somewhat a normal situation for me when going to see the school productions, however, as I do not pretend to be the most versed in works pertaining to the performing arts. Despite being in the dark about the general plot or idea of the production, I knew I would enjoy it like so many others I have witnessed on the Greensboro College stage. My interest was further piqued the day I went to see it, when I heard it compared to the likes of “Looney Tunes” and “Monty Python” – promising that it would be quite funny and entertaining.
Simply put: this assumption was spot on. Come 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, the stage in Huggins Performance Center was set in regal fashion: elegant couches, tables, double doors – all laid out stylishly across the stage and framed by walls and doors, with a projection of the Eiffel Tower in the far background above the set. The seeming tranquility of the scene did not last once act one began, however. It quickly became clear that the production would spare no amount of drama, action or hilarity throughout its duration.
A feature that really stuck out to me was the physical comedy aspect of the show. There were times that characters would go on dramatic monologues or attempt explanations – even going so far as to physically act them out. In addition to those such occurrences, there was quite a good bit of chasing amongst the characters – near both the end of Act One and of Act Two. Due to misunderstanding and continual mistaken identity, multiple characters ended up chasing each other in and out of doors on the stage, yelling after each other to further the commotion.
Overall, it was apparent the actors had to have some amount of physical stamina for this show – and they demonstrated it flawlessly. Throughout the production, the layout of the set only changed two or three times. One such instance was cleverly done in the midst of the chaos of the longest chase scene in act two. Characters dashed in and out of view, sometimes moving a piece of furniture, adding one or altogether removing something. It was a very creative way for the setting to change without there needing to be a pause in the show.
As far as the costumes for each character, they, like the set design, were excellent enhancements to the performance and characters. Not only did they enunciate the time period of the story with their old-fashioned style, but they provided further comedic value to the performance at various points in the show, when at times certain parts of the garments were ripped off their owners.
Finally, the acting and performers in general only served to further endorse the quality of GC theatre’s rendition of this production. Phenomenal is the adjective I would use to describe the talent on our stage. There were many aspects to admire from this performance – the convincing delivery of lines, the physical comedy I mentioned earlier, the subtle – and in one case not so subtle – traces of accents in the performers’ voices.
Such embellishments as the accents, particularly the thick German accent by Zach Orellana-Kennedy, playing Gustav Aubin, truly heightened my own enjoyment of the play, especially considering the hilarity and misunderstanding between characters that it added to the storyline.
Overall, I will simply congratulate the Greensboro College theatre department on another production very well done. If you were fortunate enough to catch a performance of “The Ladies Man,” or even if you missed it, be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming productions of “The World Goes ‘Round” musical directed by Andy Mock and choreographed by Ashley Hyers from March 23 to 25, “Mirrors” by John O’Brien from April 13-15 and “I Want to Play with Dead Rats!” by Rebecca Hawkes also April 13-15.