‘The Cottage’ at APAC


| ckasden@queenscourier.com |

Let’s see. There’s a possible serial killer and a probable “working girl.” Also onstage is an immoral attorney and his tightly wound brother. Furthermore, we see an expectant wife with questionable paternity issues. And finally, there’s beautiful Sylvia.

“The Cottage” won’t curdle your sensibilities or offend your sense of smell. Actually, it’s a fabulously fresh farce by playwright Sandy Rustin. In fact, the world premiere was held this past Saturday night at APAC (Astoria Performing Arts Center).

Director Adam Dannheisser offers six very funny actors (all Actors’ Equity). Their extremely thick British accents are perfect parodies of the well heeled upper class during the Roaring Twenties. The costumes and hairstyles (by Ryan J. Moller) are a feast for the eyes. The set (design by Stephen K. Dobay) meticulously recreates a country cottage, complete with tall hedges outside the windows and door.

The comedy’s unquestionable catalyst is Amy Rutberg as stunning Sylvia. Ms. Rutberg makes the most of her character’s physical, emotional and vocal actions. Oh, and also her reactions. She is the pivotal character in the story’s multiple romantic triangles. Will she ultimately prove victorious in the game of love?

Jason Loughlin as Beau provides a complicated yet somehow sympathetic version of a well dressed 1920s “cad”. Although his intentions are dishonorable, he manages to convince us that he is a victim. And darn it, a nice guy! Well done indeed.

Maria Couch plays very pregnant but not too ethical Marjorie. Her scene stealer involves a certain unpleasant aroma which she liberates in Act II. Kevin Isola perfectly plays Beau’s fastidious brother. Who would have thought such a fussy person could behave so dishonorably?

Fiery red headed Dierdre is played by Hanley Smith. She frequently faces the “fourth wall” giving the audience a full view of her well cut dress and very funny facial expressions. Has she really left her past ways behind her?

Daniel Bielinski completes the cast. His very funny interpretation enhances the play’s tongue-in-cheek story line. Bravo to Artistic Director Tom Wojtunik and everyone involved!

Performances are held at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, located at 30-44 Crescent St at 30th Road in Astoria. Surf to www.apacny.org or call (718) 706-5750 for information on this and future programs. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.