Today: Dec 07 , 2019

Unexpected Twists & Turns from Charley's Aunt

12 January 2017  

LOL at the Prescott Center for the Arts

The phrase “An Oldie but a Goodie” describes the current offering at the Prescott Center of the Arts (PCA), Charley’s Aunt. This is a college farce, involving mistaken identities and many doors—only the college is Oxford University in England in 1893. The production, ably directed by Rob White, is running on the main stage January 12-22. 

On the day before the beginning of summer vacation, the two young men, Jack Chesney and Charley Wykeham, confess their blossoming love for two young women, Amy and Kitty. They want to invite them to lunch and tea at Jack’s rooms, but they know that no respectable young woman will come without an adult chaperone. What to do? Then Charley receives a telegram from his Aunt, whom he has never met, saying that she is coming to lunch. Perfect. The young women are invited and accept. Oh no! Charley receives a second telegram, his Aunt is not coming. What to do?? They can’t think of anyone else who would come on such short notice, and then their friend Lord Fancourt Babberley, known as Babs, shows up. Maybe something can be done. Thus proceeds the farce.

All the actors here were well cast and put in most competent performances, suggesting the English accents and settings without seeming forced. The three male leads Amos Owen (Jack), Tyler Bond (Charley) and Julian (Julz) Jenney (Babs), were all good at portraying the alternately confident and unsure attitudes of young men in love. Julz did particularly well in his more athletic role, jumping over and around, and rushing in and out of doors.

The female actors, Marissa Ellis (Kitty Verdun), Amber Bosworth (Amy Spettigue), and Kimberly Ross (Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez, Charley’s Aunt), were all able to make their characters stand out as people with different backgrounds and personalities. Kimberly Ross was especially good at projecting an air of amusement and anticipation.

Other characters,  Amy’s guardian, Stephen Spettigue, played by Dakota Krieger;  the college servant Brasset, played by Bill Haas; Donna Lucia’s ward Ela, played by Annabelle Veatch; and Jack’s father Colonel Sir Frances Chesney, played by Michael Holevar were also quite well done. Of particular note was Holevar's Colonel. He was very believable as a retired soldier returning to his native land, trying to get back into the swing of things and meeting his son as a nearly grown up young man. Bill Haas’s Brasset was also very good, he didn’t have many lines, but his performance was excellent in all of his “business.”

The director’s vision presents a convincing picture of college life and customs of the late 1900s. His casting was thoughtful and his backstage crew all did what needed to be done. The set was quite suggestive without taking up too much space, and fit in all the necessary doors very nicely.  The costumes were very well done, portraying the time well without being overly fussy. 

It's a family-friendly performance that will have you cheerfully laughing out loud, even if you are sitting next to your grandmother or your children. 

This was Julz Jenney’s last performance at PCA. He is leaving Prescott to pursue his theatrical career and education, probably at U of A. Tyler Bond’s next performance will be as director of “Storybook Reunion MURDERS.”

If You Go 

What: Performance of Charley's Aunt

Where: Prescott Center for the Arts
208 North Marina, Prescott

Regular Performances @ 7:30 PM

Thursday, Jan. 12 through Sunday Jan. 15

Thurs Jan. 19 through Sunday Jan. 22

Ticket Prices $15/$20

Matinées @ 2 PM

Sunday Jan. 15, Saturday Jan. 21, and Sunday Jan. 22

Ticket Prices $12/$16