By Roger Gonzalez
“It’s All About Lorrie” is one of the best comedies I’ve seen on the festival stage in a really long time.
Often, many of festival shows I see need some tweaking, are usually under-rehearsed and are in the festival process precisely to help the material evolve and grow. But “It’s All About Lorrie” impressed the hell out of me and I can't stop thinking about it.
The script is tight, clever, full of theatrical references theatre lovers will appreciate and enjoy. The lines are fast and funny, the story is unique (a referenced character in a play comes to life and writes herself into the script, disrupting the other actors and shaking up not only the rehearsals, but their lives). What could have amounted to just another play about theatre turned out to be a fast-paced, surprisingly fascinating farce that is reminiscent of a Ken Ludwig comedy.
Playwright Joseph Krawczyk has created material that could and should be seen again soon, perhaps in a professional venue. It’s remarkable work and I was grateful to have seen it, considering that there are only 3 performances offered at the Thespis Theater Festival.
At the center of this excellent play is the incredible Molly Esther Wilson, who plays Lorrie. I can’t gush enough about how perfectly this young talent commanded the role. Lorrie is a magical character of sorts that is supposed to be briefly mentioned by the other characters in this play within a play but somehow walks through the door in the flesh and takes over. From the minute Lorrie enters the story she is a force to be dealt with and Ms. Wilson is exactly the type of actor to make this premise believable. She never missed a beat and is consistently charming and intriguing (and beautiful) in her unique portrayal. Her expressions, her reactions, her timing were all pure stage dynamite. Call it perfect casting or direction or acting, but she is Lorrie! She reminded me of a young Lucille Ball.
For the most part, the entire cast was excellent. This was a tightly and cleanly directed piece that merits kudos to director Kimille Howard. Not a moment or turn is missed and the choices she made were smart. As the object of Lorrie’s affections, actor Akira Fukui plays it mostly for laughs and he had funny moments, but the rest of the cast played it straight and that worked just as well in my opinion. Katherine Janeska Guanche as the Heather, Khalilah Smith as the director, and Logan Curran as Tommy Z were real, believable and they balanced the overall story. They were the perfect foil to Lorrie's high energy and comedic timing. In a play like this, it really is and should be all about Lorrie.
The show is no longer at the Thespis Theater Festival (it only got three performances), but I really hope Mr. Krawczyk moves forward with this show and plays it somewhere else soon… I think it has the talent and momentum to go places. It’s “All about Lorrie” is all about a great evening at the theatre.
You can find more information by clicking http://newyorktheaterfestival.com/its-all-about-lorrie/.
The Thespis Theater Festival runs until October 12th at The Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 West 26th Street in Manhattan. Click here for a full lineup of shows: http://newyorktheaterfestival.com/summerfest-festivals/