An Act of the Imagination by Bernard Slade is a must see! The Hampton Theatre Company is producing the play at the Quogue Community Hall until Sunday, April 9.
Director Edward Brennan is presenting Slade’s (who also wrote Fatal Attraction) play with all the “bells and whistles” of a high priced Broadway show. The sound effects and Sebastian Paczynski’s lighting will absolutely dazzle you!
Matthew Conlon as Arthur Putnam, mystery writer, not only carries the show, he makes you laugh belly laughs, and think intense thoughts as he commands the stage. Conlon makes Arthur Putnam a likeable character. Just watching his performance alone is worth the price of the ticket, however there is more.
Rebecca Edana also puts in a wonderful performance as Julia Putnam. Ms. Edana has a certain stage presence that invites you to watch her every move. She looks and moves very much like a one-time great tennis player. Kudos to her!
Jesse Pimpinella who plays Arthur’s young adult son, Simon Putnam, also moves around the stage with a convincing grace as he adds to the great energy the show has. His portrayal as the son still attempting to find his groove wins my approval. Amanda Griemsmann is distinctively attention getting as Holly Adams, Mr. Putnam’s script editor. Without doubt Amanda has a bright future on the stage and perhaps film. James M. Lotilo Jr., whose voice beams with authority yet affection, plays the role of Detective Sergeant Fred Burchitt with great verb. Cesa Pledger is very good and very convincing as Brooke Carmichael, and Meggie Doyle as Brenda Simmons is a show within the show; I believe she has a comedic acting career ahead of here worthy of SNL.
The show takes place in the living room-study of a house in Hampstead on the outskirts of London, during several weeks in the spring and summer of 1964. Diana Marbury (Set Décor) and Sean Marbury (Set Design) have created a beautiful set that has ease and warmth. The furnishings are so tasteful I wanted to bring some of them home. Credit must also be given to Stage Manager Chrissie DePierro. Costume Design was also perfect due to the efforts of Teresa LeBrun.
The twists and turns of Slade’s writing along with the great performances of the actors makes An Act of the Imagination so compelling I never moved, always trying to process every new development that almost every line created; yet it was easy to follow such a complicated chain of events with ease. There is a surprise ending.
Lastly, the venue, the Quogue Community Hall, has very comfortable seats and is roomy holding somewhere around 200 people comfortably. Cookies and coffee are sold as well as other soft drinks so it has a Broadway theatre at Starbucks feel.
Shows take place on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. An additional matinee showing will be held on Saturday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $30 for adults; $25 for seniors (65 or over); $15 for audience members under 35; and $10 for students (under 21). Additionally, Hampton Theatre Company will offer special dinner and theater packages in collaboration with the Westhampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries.
Quogue Community Hall is located at 125 Jessup Avenue in Quogue. To reserve tickets, call 1-866-811-4111 or visit hamptontheatre.org.