(“Hope’s Last Chance” plays at The Exit Theatre from October 3 through October 26, 2013.)
Shelley Johnson as the creepy landlady, Mrs. Cutter, manages to strike the right balance between spooky and kooky. Her over-the-top melodramatics are simultaneously frightening and funny. Jeffrey Orth as Mackie brings a surprising depth of characterization to the conflicted old man who knows more than he tells about the haunted history of the inn. For dead people, both John Terrell as Conrad and Ella Zalon as Hope are quite lively.
As the young couple staying at the haunted inn, Kat Bushnell and Wesley Cayabayab are personable. Cayabayab is an interesting and charismatic young actor who will benefit from more experience and a strong directorial hand. Bushnell struggles to find the right tone for this performance.
As always with Wily West, one must acknowledge and admire the company’s dedication to new work by local playwrights. With “Hope’s Last Chance”, they have given a first production to a play with considerable potential. Hopefully, there will be further incarnations as the piece continues to develop.
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“Hope’s Last Chance” by Rod McFadden, world premiere presented by Wily West Productins. Director: Brady Brophy-Hilton. Sets & Lighting Design: Quinn J. Whitaker. Costume Design: Ellen Chestnut.
Angela: Kat Bushnell. Stan: Wesley Cayabyab. Hope” Ella Zalon. Mrs. Cutter: Shelley Johnson. Mackie: Jeffrey Orth. Conrad: John Terrell.
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