Hungry? Let’s have a meal with five interesting ladies. They’re already at the kitchen table in Douglaston for the DCT players’ version of “Daughters”. It’s onstage weekends through November 30.
Director Marilyn Welsher’s acting and directing credits span several decades. For her current project the audience is introduced to four generations of mothers and daughters. They argue endlessly and are victims (and sometimes perpetrators) of numerous social and emotional issues.
Somehow, though, we can’t help but like them.
Strong willed Tessie is played by Kim Kaiman. Although not the oldest in the family’s four tiered hierarchy, she considers herself the leader. This self imposed burden leaves her emotionally dangerous. To Ms. Kaiman’s acting ability, it is often hard to tell when she is manipulating or deceiving her family and when she is truly out of control.
Younger sister Patty Ann (Elizabeth Bisciello) proves to be more like Tessie than she first appears. She can be manipulative, defensive but never anyone’s fool. Ms. Bisciello glides through her part with a confidence that is very watchable. Happily she is becoming a familiar face at DCT.
The most prolific community theatre veteran, Sharon Levine portrays “Mom”. Like many hapless mothers, her character’s cure for everything is food. Even so, as the curtain opens, she is sobbing uncontrollably. Her husband, the family patriarch is suffering from a life changing illness. He never appears onstage but his presence is strongly felt.
The other husbands and boyfriends are never seen. They are all hardworking but extremely flawed. Their behavior inspires both rage and resignation in the revelations offered by their wives and girlfriends.
Gratefully, “Grandma” (Madelon Avallone) never utters a word. With so much arguing and menacing throughout the comedy/drama she offers a silent respite. Her vivid facial expressions reveal a goodness and clarity that ultimately prove to be the very essence of this extremely dysfunctional family.
My personal favorite is “Cetta”, played by Harriet Spitzer-Picker. She skillfully shows the most vulnerability and then the most strength when confronting her family. She also shows the most visible affection towards Grandma and ultimately to her mother, Tessie.
“Daughters” is running at the Zion Episcopal Church Parish Hall on Church Street off Douglaston Parkway. Call (718) 482-3332 or surf to www.spotlightonstage.com for information on this and upcoming productions. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.