Story integral to Western Reserve Playhouse's 'Applause'

by April Helms Special Products editor Published:

Western Reserve Playhouse’s second show of the season is “Applause,” which will be staged Friday and Saturday evenings July 26 through Aug. 17.
The musical, which is based on the 1950 film “All About Eve,” which starred Bette Davis, centers on aging actress Margo Channing, who takes Eve, a young woman trying to break into the business, under her wing. However, Margo’s insecurities and her temper start to alienate her from her friends and associates, although as the plot unfolds it is revealed some of the insecurities come from the mechanizations of Eve.
“It’s not done very often,” said director Jim Volkert. “It’s made for a larger stage, so we are focusing on the story. It’s not going to be set driven or costume driven, but story driven. We are using the gypsies as a sort of Greek chorus. We’ve taken a play that usually has between 35 and 50 people, and we have less than 20 people. Our three-piece band is a part of the show. In one scene they will be the band at the party. It’s been kind of challenging deciding how to make things work, but this is a great cast.”
Eve Phythyon of Twinsburg, who is playing Karen, Margo’s best friend, in this production, said she has done a lot with the Twinsburg Community Theater.
“This is my fifth show with Jim,” she said. “This is a smaller production than I am usually involved with. I’ve met so many different people.”
Phythyon said she enjoyed acting.
“Where else can you put on costumes and pretend to be someone else for a while?” she said.
Adam Leventhal of Twinsburg, who plays the stage manager Bert, said the story is a complex one.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on,” Leventhal said. “When you get the script for the first time, it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on.”
Leventhal said one of his favorite scenes to do is when Bert “realizes Eve used him to move up the food chain, so to speak.”
Linda Ingram, who plays Margo, said the cast has been “great to work with.”
“I was thrilled to get cast,” Ingram said.
Margo, Ingram said, “is deeply in love with a man who is younger than she is. Eve comes along and finagles her way into her life, and Margo is jealous.”
Other members of the cast include Ashley Bossard as Eve, Mark Adkins as Bill Sampson, Brad W. Andersen as Buzz Richards, Dennis Burby, Tom Majercik, Sr. from Bedford,  Adam Klusty and Mike Groom from Barberton, Bobby McDonald from Loweville,  Martha Kriley from Streetsboro, Ashley Bossard from Broadview Heights, Patrick Michael Dukeman from Copley, Maggie Bolas from Akron, Maria Gamvas from Canton and Walt Kaminski of Bath, who also was the set designer. John Ebner is music director.

Ticket and show information
Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. On opening night July 26, patrons can purchase one ticket and get a second ticket at half price.
Shows start at 8 p.m. For reservations or information, call 330-620-7314.
Western Reserve Playhouse is at 3326 Everett Road at the Bath/Richfield township line.
Email: ahelms@recordpub.com
Phone: 330-541-9438
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