There was an enthusiastic standing ovation for the Saturday opening night performance of “Chemical Imbalance” at the Southampton Cultural Center. This Jekyll and Hyde play was written by Lauren Wilson and produced by Bonnie Grice and her “boots on the ground theater” production company. It is scheduled to play until October 30th, 2022. You can buy tickets now at www.scc-arts.org.
The show is fun, quick-witted and full of mayhem energy. Although there are some dark moments, they are comical dark slapstick moments that effectively get the right kind of laughter. It was special to see a large crowd enjoying live theater at the SCC like in the pre-Covid days.
Director Mark Heidemann had the cast members moving effectively as well, with excellent stage positioning. Dennis Milone’s Sound Design was wonderful, as was the Lighting Design of Daniel Schappert. Producer Bonnie Grice’s selection of Kevin Shea for Set Design was brilliant.
Once again producer Grice provided top-notch period costumes. They truly brought one back to that time. The detail on every single one of the costumes were fantastic. Ms. Grice understands the importance of period costuming and how it adds to a production.
Colin Palmer delivered a riveting performance as Henry Jekyll. His talent is special. His facial expression and physical acting skills were on full display. He also showed off his comedic acting skill set. Mr. Palmer once again demonstrated his ability to carry a production on his back, while also allowing the other actors to shine.
Zoe Richardson had a special quality in her role as Ambrosia Jekyll. Ms. Richardson moved about the stage as if she owned it. Her portrayal totally mesmerized the audience. She delivered her lines with clear voice and a sparkle.
Nicholas Auletti also was excellent as Plodgett. He connected with his others cast members and understands the importance of theater chemistry among fellow actors. Tom Gregory was wonderfully versatile in his two roles as Xavier and the Lieutenant. Frederick Nydegger was poignantly effective as the Constable.
It was an amazing hilarious performance by Christian Lapore as Lady Throckmortonshire. Playing a large woman, Christian Lapore wore her hats with distinctive nobility. It was a very physical performance and a very entertaining crowd-pleasing performance. Kudos and accolades to Christian Lapore.
The audience couldn’t take their eyes off Esmeralda Cabrera as the beautiful Rosamunda Dewthistle. Ms. Cabrera’s graceful movements and welcoming smile added pizzaz to her performance. Obviously we will be seeing more of her in east end productions.
As always Bonnie Grice gives a high-quality performance as Euphronia Jekyll. Ms. Grice has an iconic speaking voice and is the queen of facial expressions. She brings star quality to this show. As a seasoned performer she knows how to take over the stage on cue and how to recede when it’s time for another actor to command the stage. Bonnie Grice is the Founder/Artistic Director of boots on the ground theater.
Perhaps the crowd favorite in the show is Gerri Melissa Wilson, who played “Ivy the maid.” She received deep belly laughs with her deadpan delivery of playwright Lauren Wilson’s witty lines.
The show runs until October 30th. It is worthwhile to get to this show and support live theater on the east end.