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HomeOperaCampy, slapstick comedy in 'November' at Windfall Gamers of Fairfax

Campy, slapstick comedy in ‘November’ at Windfall Gamers of Fairfax

The Windfall Gamers of Fairfax have chosen a really well timed comedic play to open their 2022/23 season: David Mamet’s November. Directed by Jayne L. Victor, the present has musical numbers interspersed all through its three acts. John Smith, music design, and Thomas Udlock, sound design, deserve the credit score for serving to with these upbeat and complementary numbers.

The play opens within the Oval Workplace with the president, Charles Smith, performed with grit and acerbic humor by Michael Donahue, and his advisor, Archer Brown, performed by Matthew Randall. Archer oversees his boss with a balancing act of frustration and loyalty. Charles is days away from his second election and his probabilities for re-election are rising slim. The play captures the campiness of Charles interacting along with his spouse and marketing campaign fellows with hilarious humor.

Kat Sanchez as Clarice Bernstein, Michael Donahue as Charles Smith, and Matthew Randall as Archer Brown in ‘November.’ Photograph by Chip Gertzog.

This play premiered on Broadway in 2008 starring Nathan Lane and that includes Laurie Metcalf, who acquired a Tony award nomination as Finest Featured Actress in a Play. Moreover, the play was a part of a studying in 2020 to profit the Actors Fund of America throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, that includes John Malkovich and Patti LuPone.

There’s a warning that the play incorporates robust language and grownup content material, however it all provides to the outrageousness and desperation of a president going to any lengths to get re-elected—not far faraway from the political local weather of at the moment. President Smith’s speechwriter, Clarice Bernstein, performed convincingly effectively by Kat Sanchez, is summoned again from her day off adopting a child from China. I liked the evolution of her character, which you may be blessed with in Act III. She presents a dilemma for her boss that’s arduous for him to wiggle out of.

The president additionally must pardon a few turkeys. The plan he concocts with the consultant of the Nationwide Affiliation of Turkey and Turkey Merchandise Producers, hilariously performed by David Whitehead, is a last-minute self-concocted scheme to finance his re-election bid. There’s some banter with the Native American chief Dwight Grackle, humorously performed by Mario Font. There isn’t any political correctness on this play, so be ready for points tackled in 2007 (when the play was written). The director talked about that every of us will giggle on the content material we discover humorous and that’s the great thing about this play. It’s tongue-in-cheek and may have you figuring out with the instances of at the moment. The problem of marriage between same-sex companions gives you pause. It would remind you of the journey of America to acknowledge same-sex marriage as authorized, how now we have developed at the moment, and the way that legality is now being jeopardized.

Michael Donahue as Charles Smith, David Whitehead because the Turkey Man, and Matthew Randall as Archer Brown in ‘November.’ Photograph by Chip Gertzog.

The set design by John Coscia was very consultant of the Oval Workplace. I liked the voting sales space on the entrance of the theater, and the marketing campaign stickers handed out by the fantastic ushers earlier than the present.

Michael Donahue as Charles Smith, Kat Sanchez as Clarice Bernstein, and Matthew Randall as Archer Brown in ‘November.’ Photograph by Chip Gertzog.

General, I loved the campiness and slapstick comedy of this play. Michael Donahue is such a great actor that he helped with the pacing of the content material. There have been instances that it moved just a little gradual for me, however the content material saved me on my toes. Act III was a showstopper price constructing as much as.

This was my first attendance at a Windfall Gamers of Fairfax present, and I look ahead to returning. Kudos to all concerned for an entertaining manufacturing.

Working Time: Roughly two hours, together with a 15-minute intermission.

November performs by way of October 29, 2022, introduced by Windfall Gamers of Fairfax performing on the James Lee Neighborhood Middle, 2855 Annandale Highway, Falls Church, VA (Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2:00 pm). Tickets ($21 grownup, $18 seniors and college students with ID) can be found on-line, by electronic mail ( or voicemail (703-425-6782), or on the field workplace half-hour previous to the present.

COVID Security:  All forged and crew have been vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 and patrons are inspired to be vaccinated to assist shield the Windfall Gamers actors, crew members, and different patrons. Masks are not required to attend productions at James Lee Neighborhood Middle.

Lighting Design:  Emerson Bennett
Costume Design:  Tracey Froelich
Hair/Make-up:  Robbie Snow



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