Review: ‘Picnic’ during The Catholic University of America

December 6, 2016 - Picnic Time

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Picnic comes to Catholic.

And by a time it’s over, lives are overturned, dreams are rekindled, and who knows what will occur next.

William Inge, master playwright of a heartland, prisoner middle-America’s restrained and working sexuality maybe improved than any other.

In Picnic Hal, a self-described square of Arkansas White Trash, comes to city to revisit his ex-fraternity brother, Alan. Once there, Hal meets a prettiest lady in town, Madge, who also happens to be Alan’s girlfriend. You can theory what happens next.


Written in 1953, a year before Elvis available his initial strain and began environment America’s lady ablaze, Picnic was a strike on Broadway and warranted Inge a Pulitzer.

And good it should, for Picnic still packs a punch even as it rolls into a 63rd year.

Why? Because a impression of Hal is still a bad child and bad boys still inflame a woman’s heart.

The Hartke Theater prolongation was destined by Bill Largess. His production’s Hal, a finely sculpted John Paul Jones, has all a character’s “showmanship.. If he lacks a bit of a risk fundamental in Hal’s enthusiastic personality, we disremember it with any hair flip and bodybuilder’s pose.

The pleasing Madge is played by Ellie Blakeslee. She stands eager from a porch, throwing demure come hither glances. Her scenes with her child sister Mille (played with a lively wit by Maddie Belknap) are the perfect kind of sisterly feuding.

Danny Beason plays Alan, who usually can’t trust that he’s won a heart of a many pleasing lady in city (but, of course, he hasn’t, not really, though such is a lot of people stranded in a fishbowl).

Millie and Madge’s mother, Flo, is played by Megan Risley. The stoic singular mom does her best to lift a reasonable daughter though when passion is a usually approach out of city and a pursuit during a 5 dime—well all a reason in a universe won’t suffice.

And afterwards there is Rosemary (played with loyal recklessness by Nicole Smith), a thirty something unmarried school clergyman who knows that “happiness” is a now or never affair.

Her 40 something boyfriend, Howard (played with chuckles by Kevin Boudreau), is approach too happy with his bachelor’s life, “with benefits” to risk ever “tying a knot”.

So it’s adult to Rosemary to “force a impulse to a crisis.” And she does to miraculous effect.

The rest of a expel consists of dual other singular teachers, Christine and Irma, a singular next-door neighbor, Helen, and a journal boy, Bomber (played appealingly by Emily Cerwonka, Annaliese Neaman, Jane McCaffrey, and Joe Savattieri, respectively).

The Picnic production group consists of Luciana Stecconi (sets), Danielle Preston (costumes), John P. Woodey (lights), and Frank DiSalvo Jr. (sound).

Bill Largess as The Critic. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

Bill Largess as The Critic. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

To be sure, Inge’s Picnic is a classic. Although a thesis and situation are iconic, how one elects to play that thesis creates all a disproportion in a world. Hal, a visitor, possibly comes to city to destroy what is good and just. Or he comes to city to giveaway what’s caged and hardly breathing.

So most of tiny city life is impeded with that executive question, and Inge’s play can be played possibly way, and with many shades of gray in between.

But it has to be played.

With so most of a enlightenment and entertainment emanating currently from a civic centers with a widespread point-of-view, it was good to lapse to Inge’s tiny city sensibility, to a sensibility not threatened by a city slicker and large bad city values though by a emotional for a better, some-more probable life.

If a matter has to be a immature male with some-more expostulate than sense, afterwards so be it; for infrequently things usually gotta change.

Running Time: 90 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission.


Picnic has finished a run during Catholic University’s Hartke Theater. For information about destiny productions during Catholic go online.

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