FJC Theatre Arts Department provided a full house with 90 highly entertaining yet surprisingly thought-provoking minutes last Saturday evening.
"Red Eye of Love" in its' third run in the studio theatre under the direction of Mr. Cosmo Inserra was delightful. "Laugh now think later" read the kicker on advance notices . . . and the audience did. Judging from some of the comments heard at intermission and after the show, however, the play did go over the heads of some of the adults in the audience. My advice to you folks is go see it again.
Actually, it is a play that would warrant anyone seeing it twice. The action and comedy are fastmoving and would be difficult for anyone to catch completely the first time around.
The play is full of lines like "I kept eating not to get sick from the booze. I got sick from the eating. Next morning. I got sick from the booze!" Slapstick? OR is it the American way?
The show opens with honky tonk music from 1922 and takes the audience through the American scene to 1960. The characters who take themselves very seriously are humorous and are stretched out of proportion - or are they?
In any event, I came away knowing that I had seen a comedy, been amused and laughed a lot and yet with the strange feeling that I had just been given a deep insight into the "American" way. Should I just laugh or maybe cry a little too?
Comedy is ofen harder to put across than drama. One reason being that comedy is really just drama viewed through a special light. The whole cast of "Red Eye of Love" must be congratulated for the fine job each did in making this production such a success. There were really no weak portrayals.
Special mention should go to Bill Verderber and Ron Coffman who played the leading characters of O. O. Martinas and Wilmer Flange. Bill Verderber as the illiterate with a dream who "makes< good" and yet is never really "as good as the next fellow" was superb. Ron Coffman's droll portrayal of Wilmer Flange was hilarious.
Mention should also go to Steve Shaw for his traffic-directing dance, to Corky Moore for her monster child, Young Bez, and to Janet Bartholomew for her sexy scrubwoman. An interesting feature of the production were the props. Putting in an estimated 500 manhours, the crew under the direction of Mr. Todd Glen built or borrowed everything from a taxicab to a theatre front.
Members of the cast had mentioned the hope that this play would be a tribute to Mr. Inserra who has gained the love and respect of his students in his one year at FJC as a substitute for Mr. George Stoughton. I think one could safely say the casts'< wishes have been fulfilled.