Director DAVID DEAN BOTTRELL unleashes Monty Pythonesque magic on the Colony’s stage for a hilarious send-up of Graham Greene’s Travels with My Aunt (adapted for the stage by Giles Havergal).
Nephew Henry Puling (played by THOMAS JAMES O’LEARY) had led a retiring life long before he retired from his unexciting job. But free spirited Aunt Augusta (MARK CAPRI) catapults him into a life of engagement and fast-paced adventure.
Choosing a man to play Aunt Augusta is the sort of bold move that Aunt Augusta would approve of. MARK endows Aunt Augusta’s character with the commanding grace and arch wit of a Jeremy Irons. THOMAS gives Henry Puling the perfect foil: bewildered by this madcap turn of his life, but clearly needing it.
The other two actors, LARRY CEDAR and SYBYL WALKER, also bring a lot of hot fun to the table. LARRY has two portray seven disparate characters, including Yolanda, a 16-year-old senorita (priceless). SYBYL has to portray nine characters. (Is it because of her name?) But the switch from one character to another is so effortlessly sudden that you wonder if you’re at The Magic Castle. (MARK and THOMAS get off easy; they only have to portray one extra character each.)
All the actors painted us a picture of Aunt Augusta’s several destinations (London, Brighton, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Boulogne, Buenos Aires and various locales in Paraguay), with the stage design providing an inviting canvas.
If all adventure begins with imagination, then Travels with My Aunt invites the audience to have their own theatrical adventure by using theirs. Last Saturday’s audience certainly did, and were well rewarded for it. As one young woman commented to her friend as they were exiting after the show, “That was really good”. It’s also really funny.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you enjoyed the English cup of tea served up by Director DAVID at the Colony, consider pouring yourself an evening of his one-man show, David Dean Bottrell Makes Love. Go to RogueMachineTheatre.com for details.
Continues through Sunday, December 18. Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm; Saturdays at 3:00pm and 8:00 pm; and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets from $20 to $42; various discounts available. The Colony Theatre is at 555 N. Third St. (at Cypress) next to the Burbank Town Center.