'Cider House Rules' Warms Hearts

Fullerton College Hornet  - Morgan McLaughlin - Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

In the intimate setting of the Bronwyn Dodson Theatre, the Fullerton College Theatre Arts Department put on their showing of "The Cider House Rules."

Adapted by Peter Parnell and conceived for the stage by Parnell, Tom Hulce and Jane Jones, the performance was impressive.

Having followed closely along the novel-rather than the movie the cast did an excellent job of telling the story of Homer Wells, played by Michael Woo.

An orphan who comes to struggle with the issues of love, sex, abortion and the life-long strain of finding a sense of belonging.

Despite the exploration of adult themes and subject matter, the cast did not shy away from the acting out of the story.

This made me feel proud to have seen a production that prided itsdf on n'ot self-censoring; unlike I had · seen in the Hollywood version.

Dr. Larch, Homer's father figure and doctor/director of the orphanage, was skillfully played by Charles Ketter.

The loving nurses of the orphanage, who also played various other characters, were well-played by Candice Berge and Michele Morrison.

The character of Melony, Homers catalyst to finding himself, was brought to life by Michelle Appezzato.

Although the length of the play was long, the entire cast seemed to be in an elaborate dance .

Working together across stage to bring the story to life, move props, and sometimes speak together to emphasize parts of the story.

The lines seemed well-rehearsed with littile stumbling, and the actors all seemed to have found an inspiration in their characters, becoming them, becoming the story.

The stage set up and interactions of the characters helped the audience feel a part of the quaint town of St: Cloud's, Maine and "other parts of the world."

Everything from the scenery and lighting to the props and costuming went hand-in-hand in the telling of "The Cider House Rules."

John Irving's novel, one I lovingly came to know in high school, was wonderfully executed in this stage performance.

For being a feature directorial debut, Andrea Morgan showed promise and creativity in her direction of "Cider House."