1-2 Punch: ‘Summerfest’ One-Acts and Chinese Food

We don’t have a regular review of Changing Scene Theatre Northwest’s "Summerplay 2008: A Festival of New Works." But we did solicit some audience reaction to the four original one-act plays, which are being presented through Aug. 23 as dinner or luncheon theater at the Panda on the Bay on Kitsap Way in Bremerton.

Here’s what a few of them had to say (and, if you see the show and would like to put your two cents’ worth in, simple comment on this blog and/or e-mail me at mmoore@kitsapsun.com, and we’ll let the world know what you thought):

* “Summerplay 2008” didn’t disappoint me. The Changing Scene selected four plays, all very different but equally well-acted and prepared. My favorite was “A Walk in the Ocean.” The play was built on a very simple metaphor and coupled with a minimalist set, bare except for the actors with rolled cuffs and bare feet. It was beautifully written — effortlessly so.
My least favorite was “Anchorwoman.” Some very funny lines. While I did laugh a lot, I felt it seemed to lack the originality of the other three plays. Too much like “Saturday Night Live,” maybe?
Money for entertainment is getting tight these days. I can’t think of a better way to spend $25. You get a wonderful meal in a lovely room overlooking Oyster Bay and four original plays produced by one of the region’s best theater groups. What a great Kitsap tradition!
— Joan Steinmetz

* Having seen "Summerplay" presentations in past years, I anticipated an interesting mix of short plays for the show I saw Aug. 8, and I wasn’t disappointed!
“What’s Left of the World” had some thought-provoking methods of solving some of the world’s problems. Pretty serious stuff with a little humor thrown in for good measure. The cast did a good job keeping this piece in balance without one character being more powerful than another.
“The Breadwinners” had me puzzled until it was almost over. I thought Wendy Daniels and Louis Dennard were terrific as the children.
“A Walk in the Ocean” was the play I most enjoyed. Pavlina Morris and Darren Hembd gave their characters the very human qualities that everyday, ordinary people have. The ending had a sweetness about it that was very touching.
“Anchorwoman,” with Wendy Daniels and Natika Shewry, had subtle comedy that could easily have gotten out of hand. These ladies kept it in check with remarkable timing.
— Mary Hembd

* The evening started with a wonderful filling meal which I topped with a coffee. Then on to the show.
Act 1, how to thin the herd of humans in a politicly correct manner. The premise alone won me over. Funny dialog well delivered.
Act 2, “The Breadwinners,” thought-provoking in these economically challenging times.
Act 3, “A Walk in the Ocean,” my favorite! Loved the symbolism. Beautifully executed by Pavlina Morris and Darren Hembd.
Act 4, “Anchorwoman,” as silly as the string coming out of the cannisters. A good catfight will always get a laugh.
All in all, this dinner theatre was a very pleasant experience well worth doing again. Thank you to all.
— Robin Toye

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