The Johnstown High School Drama Club splendidly takes on one of the American theatre’s classic comedies, John Patrick’s “The Curious Savage,” playing 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Johnstown High School Performing Arts Center.
This delightfully funny and heart-warming parable about greed, age, and love is set at The Cloisters, a genteel asylum for “guests” struggling to cope with a variety of emotional problems. It centers on the hilarious struggle between the elderly Mrs. Ethel Savage and her grasping stepchildren out to get their hands on her fortune.
The “guests” at The Cloisters include Florence, struggling with the loss of her son, played beautifully by Alexia Brunetto; Hildegarde, a tone-deaf violin player nicely played by Angela Wolff; Mrs. Paddy, who hates everything, doesn’t believe in electricity, and constantly paints a seashore she’s never seen, wonderfully acted by Alicia Yennard; Jeff, a ‘guest’ with deep emotional scars from the war, warmly played by Logan Brandt, and Fairy May, a spritely young woman yearning for love and beauty, delightfully acted by Julia Bevington.
Angela Duross perfectly plays the kindly Dr. Emmett, and Emma Crouse is charming as the consoling Nurse Willie.
The evil stepchildren are the bombastic Trevor Day as the blustering conniving politician, the sparkling Heidi Chamberlain as the grasping, much-married socialite, and the ardent Jeffrey Salatel as the dour judge.
In the midst of these two camps is the indomitable but gentle Mrs. Savage, played touchingly by Victoria Fish, who through the generosity of the residents discovers her own inner conviction to battle her avarice stepchildren.
The Stage Crew (Maddie Willett, Bridget Spagnuola, Julia Airey and Sam Miller) have put together scenery creating a warm and welcoming living area of the rest home.
The production is directed by Michael S Burnett with Cynthia Wood (assistant director), Darlene D’Onofrio (costume coordinator), and Diane Dillenbeck (seamstress).