Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Good Doctor

It takes a special talent to take a series of short stories and to modify by inserting a little humor as each story evolves into a short play. This is the task Neil Simon achieved when he adapted many stories of Russian author Anton Chekov in a series of twelve short plays. One of these stories is "The Good Doctor" even though this is the name for this show. All of these marvelous tales tell of real people by showing the truth in our imperfects as humans that truly transcend time and cultures.

Presenting these skits are five very talented actors who play a variety of characters. Matthew Uehling portrays the author and narrator. Dan Whitehouse is the husband and a scheming viictim who is drowned. Tim Daugherty is the older, experienced and often injured gentleman in these skits while in also beautifully sings. As the wife or girl is the delightful Brooke Fencl showing the extremes of being inexperienced and experienced to the level of instruction. Filling out this cast is the phenomenal character actress, Denise Putman.

The skits vary in tone but each one has a humorous tone brightening each realistic problem. "The Sneeze" is a comical, but all to realistic scene. One of the characters accidentally sneezes on the back of the neck of his boss. After spraying all over the back of the neck, what would any of us do next?

"The Governess" is an all-too-true skit about an employer who takes advantage of an employee. "The Arrangement" regards a rite of manhood definitely geared for an adult audience. "Too Late for Happiness" is a tender skit with an all too true situation.

For me, my favorite vignette was "The Seduction". Can a man seduce another man's wife without actually making little to no direct contact with her? Can a man use a husband as the weapon to seduce his wife? This is definitely intriguing.

The sets, costumes, hair, make-up, props, lighting, sound, and direction were perfectly seamless. Gary Planck as director, Dave Podendorf commanding the sound, Beth Rutz as the stage manager and many others created the perfect production for these wonderful performers.

"The Good Doctor" continues through this Sunday, January 25th with a 2 p.m. show and the Friday and Saturday shows curtain times at 7:30 p.m. at The Chanticleer Community Theater at 830 Franklin Ave. in Council Bluffs. The price of tickets are $ 20 for adults, $ 16 for seniors and $ 10 for students. For more information and reservation tickets contact the box office at (712) 323-9955.

This is one of those shows that make a wonderful evening for a special night out.

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