“The Royal Family” Review by Rose Desena

This Week In Theater

 

                      “The Royal Family”

Written by George S. Kaufman/Edna Ferber

 

Review by Rose Desena

4 Roses Rating

 

I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful summer evening than sitting under a bright moon surrounded by trees thoroughly engrossed in a play. That’s how I spent last Saturday night and it was so enchanting I didn’t want it to end.  Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is celebrating their 40th year with a great line up of productions. Usually they do Shakespeare but I caught a production of “The Royal Family.” The Cavendishes (think Barrymore’s) are an eccentric obsessive family so caught up in their fame and glory that they can’t see the damage it causes in their lives. Love slips away like drift wood caught in a violent tide.

 

"The Royal Family" at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga

 

This happy little family drama continues even when they leave the stage.   Julie Cavendish (Melora Marshall) is the daughter of the legendary actress Fanny Cavendish (Ellen Geer). The poor dear has her hands full. Her daughter (Willow Geer) is in “love” and wants to leave a budding career while her aged mother wants to go on the road again. Her narcissistic brother has walked off a film and is running off to exotic lands in hopes of escaping the producers and an ex-lover.

 

"The Royal Family" at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga

 

If that’s not enough, an old heartthrob is coming to visit dear Julie. Earnestine Phillips (Della) is wonderful as the maid who can’t keep up with all the comings and goings, the phones never stop ringing and the changing plans make her dizzy. Alan Blumenfeld is the family’s dear friend as well as their managing producer; the guy just can’t bear to see the Cavendish family do anything else but act, preferably in his productions.  Add a few other zany characters and you have a recipe for some witty entertainment.

 

"The Royal Family" at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga

 

Well directed by Susan Angelo, this enduring production will keep you laughing and the beautiful setting will lull you into feeling the magic. Speaking about a family of theater lovers, it was really nice to see Ellen and Willow Geer on the stage together. Ellen still has what it takes to win you over.

 

"The Royal Family" at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga

 

I really enjoyed my night at the Botanicum; they have a full schedule of productions running all through the summer. There are other events including things for children. Bring a picnic because there is plenty of space to spread out and relax before the show and if Martha Stewart basket-packing is not your thing, don’t fret, there are some dinner shows and a snack bar with all kinds of drinks and goodies.

 

 

                        “The Royal Family”

Written by George S. Kaufman/Edna Ferber

Directed by Susan Angelo

Cast: Abby Craden, Ellen Geer, Willow Geer, Melora Marshall, Alex Aguila, Mannette Antill, Alan Blumenfeld, Bill Gunther, Tim Halligan, Aaron Hendry, Earnestine Phillips, Andy Stokan, Sita Wainquito, Frank Weidner.

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd.

Topanga Ca, 90290

Log on for dates and details of all their current shows.

www.Theatricum.com

 4 Roses Rating

 


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