In this slight but charming comedy by French playwright Gérald Sibleyras, three aging World War I veterans plot a sortie on the French countryside from the terrace of their old soldiers' home. Set in 1959, and translated into English by Tom Stoppard, the play won the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for best new comedy. The dialogue cleverly combines the shared reminiscences of military life with the personal idiosyncrasies of these quibbling duffers for whom all the choices they’ve made in their lives will soon end in identical result. The Banyan Theater Company production, thoughtfully directed by Dan Higgs, is a bittersweet, often hilarious meditation on that stage of life on which one lives out his last hurrah, symbolized by the grove of poplars that the group gazes at from the confines of their retirement abode.
Timing is everything in this dialogue-driven piece, and the three actors who portray the trio embrace their characters’ vulnerabilities with relish and skill. Peter Thomasson portrays the play’s most fleshed-out character, Gustave, a curmudgeonly aristocrat who hides his deep-seated fears behind a haughty facade, making sweeping declarations such as, "Nothing revolts me more than a picnic!"
Especially sympathetic Henri, endearingly played by Joseph Parra, putters around the town with his cane, ogling the young women with earthy delight. Alan Kitty rounds out the group as Philippe, who faints with regularity due to the shrapnel in his head and fears that the Head Nun of the establishment is plotting to do away with him. At one point, Phillippe and Gustave are arguing about whether women prefer men who make them laugh or who make them climax, and Henri comments after a perfect pause, “Both at the same time is difficult.”
The fourth character in the play is a stone statue of a dog, which occupies the outdoor terrace of the home, which has been nicely rendered to suggest a gardened, peaceful retreat by set designer Chris McVicker. Costume designer Ross Boehringer has dressed these vets in similar period three-piece suits, echoing the uniforms of their former occupation.
Currently 0 Responses
13 Founder's Talk & Tea
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
13 Paris Flea Market - An Upscale Sale
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
13 Mozart Madness 1
13 Fuzion Dance Artists Presents "Dance Couture: Art Meets Dance"
7:30 pm - 2:00 pm
14 The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota Presents Their Creators & Collectors Art & Studio Tour
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
14 The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota Presents Their 2014 Creators & Collectors Self-Guided Art & Studio Tour
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
14 Paris Flea Market - An Upscale Sale
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
14 Paradise in Season: New Works by Beverly A. Smith, Vladislav Yeliseyev and Joseph Palmerio
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Daylight Saving Time starts 2 a.m. Sunday, so be sure to set your alarm accordingly.
The Tabernacle Christian School middle school student Lauren Medred, an East County resident, earned top vocal honors, taking first place in vocal solo female category of the Florida League of Christian School’s Festival of the Academics and Arts Feb. 28 and March 1 at Southeastern University in Lakeland.
Manatee County schools dominated a state technology competition with five of six top-three finishes earned by Manatee County schools during the 35th annual Technology Student Association State Competition late February.