WHO IS EARTHA MAE? World Premiere at Bridge Repertory Theater: Broadway World
Despite the dimensions of the cavernous hall, Director Cailin Doran, music director/pianist Seulah Noh (outstanding), and the design team (Esme Allen, scenic; Laura Hildebrand, lighting; Jason Rosenman, sound) lay the foundation for Wheeler to establish an intimacy that wraps us in its embrace. It is no small achievement to make this space work for a show that is more modest in scale, but the warmth and electricity that Wheeler radiates accomplish it effectively.
Doran says Wheeler has become an Eartha Kitt scholar, studying the many interviews and videos of her performances to capture her inflections and gestures in this slice-of-life play with music.
“Our work in rehearsal involves shaping the story Jade has written to reflect this truly unique performer,” Doran says. “Kitt was unafraid to take her time onstage, to indulge in the joy of creating herself.
[Doran] is an upbeat and demanding director. . . [she] directed her actors back into position, and the tempo picked up. They began to run around the stage in complicated patterns, at times colliding. A young man stepped forward to catch a young woman, and something went awry. “I’m used to catching a guy!” he shouted, after miscalculating the placement of his hands. He blushed and muttered, “It’s so different.” Doran patiently demonstrated how to correctly catch a woman. Then the players were back at it again.
Cailin Doran is both stunning and tragic, refusing to play the role as a victim of circumstances, but rather, a woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it, unapologetically so. Shea’s desperate loneliness is what makes her so relatable, and its hard not to feel sympathetic towards her odd display of grief.
Of them all, we’re drawn most to the story of Dave and his wife, Georgie (Cailin Doran). . . Rathbun and Doran create a wholly believable marriage that falters and heals throughout the course of the show.
Review: CU Opera presents crisp performance of ‘Candide’: The Daily Camera
"Candide" exposes the audience to an array of talent . . . Cailin Doran, as the Old Woman, steals every scene in which she appears.
Doran's monologue in the middle of the play, though, is a stunner. It's the one moment we see Uncle Peck's wife, and during it Doran makes clear another part of the cost that's rendered from the incestuous relationship.