Feb. 06, 2013 - Issue #903: Moment by moment
The cast of the Citadel's production of Noël Coward's acclaimed comedy Private Lives has had to overcome a last-minute cast change in one of its main roles. The part of Victor was originally taken on by Tim Campbell, who had to leave the production due to a family emergency, leaving the role in the hands of Jeff Meadows.
"It's a three-day rehearsal period from zero to an audience," says Citadel artistic director Bob Baker, adding that the rest of the cast had been rehearsing for three-and-a-half weeks prior.
As Baker acknowledges, being a director is all about problem solving, so integrating Meadows into the cast was a matter of getting his scenes up to speed before unveiling the show to an invited audience last Friday, where, after only two rehearsals, Meadows required minimal line prompts.
"You just have to formulate a plan and you use your limited time as best you can and make sure everyone's relaxed. The first thing a director can't do is panic," notes Baker. "The cast looks to somebody to go, 'OK, we can do this,' and so I have to give that appearance regardless how I'm feeling inside."
With the chaos ostensibly under control, Baker is ready to open the show, which follows Amanda and Elyot (John Ullyatt), a divorced couple who end up at the same honeymoon destination—both there with their new, younger partners. Sparks fly and emotions overflow as past chemistry reignites between Amanda and Elyot, a pair of strong-willed young people trying to break the conventions of the upper-class world in which they live.
"I think relationships are always relevant ... this one's about two people that are so instinctively and chemically connected with each other that they kind of combust sometimes," Baker adds. "If you feel like you're an outsider and you find someone else who's an outsider and they share that outsiderness, that's really a special bond."
Until Sun, Feb 24 (7:30 pm, 1:30 pm Sat and Sun matinee)
Directed by Bob Baker
Citadel Theatre, $35 – $73.50 vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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