Brewster, MA - The Young Company (YoCo) of the Cape Repertory Theatre staged a mad romp through the 1930's screwball comedy "Once in a Lifetime". The production was a splendid showcase for the talent of the growing YoCo, with performers from 13 to 18 years old, traveling from as far away as Plymouth and Wellfleet.
During the introductory remarks, it was mentioned that the Cape Rep hoped to create "an artistic home" for young people interested in theatre. If this production is how that "artistic home" is personified, we want more!
Thirty-one talented kids took to the stage in Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's 1930 comedy set at the dawn of talking pictures. A washed up trio of vaudevillians sells their act and heads to Hollywood to seek their fortune as would-be elocution teachers. Their plan is to provide voice training to screen actors who now must speak their roles. What ensues is a series of preposterous scenarios that lead to the trio producing a hot mess of a film that ends up being branded a "masterpiece" by the film industry.
This is a high energy play which harnesses the youthful enthusiasm of the performers so very well. The players move between their ensemble roles and featured moments with incredible ease. Scene changes flow smoothly with a bit of panache. Most of the time there is an awful lot happening on the stage at the same time. A perfect example are the scenes set on a railroad car, where the passing "scenery" is almost as entertaining as the primary dialogue. "Once in a Lifetime" is a performance where careful attention must be paid, lest one miss any of the little "side shows" that seem to play out whenever the full ensemble is on stage.
The realistic costumes suit the 1920's to a tee - and look darned good on these young people. The remind us of a time where men wore mostly coats and ties, women wore fabulous dresses, cigarettes were the rage and cigarette holders added a little extra style for the ladies.
"Once in a Lifetime" offers only two performances on February 7th and 8th. The opening performance was sold out. A Saturday morning bulletin from Cape Rep indicates there may still be some tickets available for Saturday' night's performance. Tickets are $10, Students 18 & under $5, and go to supporting Cape Rep’s Young Company Initiative. Call the Box Office for details. Cape Rep Indoor Theater. North Side Route 6A E. Brewster. 508.896.1888 or www.caperep.org.
The Young Company features the talents of Maya Anastasio, Christine Baker, Ray Borelli, Catie Clarke, Orla Delaney, Macklin Devine, Brooks Doane, Rachel Dubois, Alyssa Freeman, Kai Georges, Nell Hamilton, Baylie Hartford, Liam Henderson, Caroline Hussey, Sage Lach, Julien Lajoie, Mia Lima, Sam Marotto, Liz Mayer, Dylan Moreno, Campbell Mulligan, Acacia Nelson, Myles Nelson, Kai Rotcavich, Sophie Ryan, Quinn Schuyler, Shaw Schuyler, Audrey Smith, Kendall Smith, Asa St. Aubin, Emma Tichnor, Brielle Whalen and Marissa Wright, supported by Cape Rep Company artists including Hanlon, Julie Allen Hamilton (stage management), Alison Weller (voice and speech coach), Art Devine (stage combat), Justyn Eldredge (set design and construction), Susan Nicholson (lighting design), Jared Hagan & Robin McLaughlin (costume design) and Janine Perry (Producing Artistic Director).
We thoroughly enjoyed this production and look forward to many more from The Young Company at the Cape Rep. We especially look forward to watching some of these performers develop and mature in their art at their new artistic home.