Posted at 5:10 p.m., April 13, 2016
Bridging the gap
Fractious play portrays modern political atmosphere just in time for election year
Patricia "Mac" Marino, left, as Margaret and Kaitlynn DeVoss, right, as Patty argue beliefs during March 31 dress rehearsal.
In today’s political climate, people on different ends of the political spectrum don’t have the ability to get along. But this spring’s play will show that despite opposing viewpoints, two sides can come together and find a prevalent understanding for each other.
What Laramie County Community College’s abruptly funny and politically relevant spring play, “Walter Cronkite is Dead” by Joe Calarco, proves is opposites can put aside their differences for the better, and the better in this case is friendship.
And the plot thickens
The play takes place in a real-world set of Reagan International Airport designed by the play director, Theatre and Communications Instructor Jason Pasqua, and begins when two women, Margaret, played by Patricia “Mac” Marino, and Patty, played by Kaitlynn DeVoss, have to share an evening together during a snow storm.
Now, to some the premise sounds like the earmark for similar college productions. Two completely different strangers meet under circumstances that otherwise wouldn’t have made them come together. But what an otherwise too-often predictable play actually becomes, with the help of good dialogue and acting, is something that the audience won’t expect.
With Marino’s Margaret and DeVoss’ Patty, the two create a peculiar red-state, blue-state pairing that works as a comic duet.
The "mother" of all friendships
Margret – an in-her-60s Democratic East Coaster with a racy past – is portrayed in a way that is quiet and endearing, which was surprising to me. In a previous play I reviewed last spring, “Doubt: A Parable” by John Patrick Flannery, I described Marino’s acting as “intimidating and spirit-breaking,” but here she takes a different turn that truly shows her range as an actor.
With the 30-something Patty, DeVoss gives us every possible cliché in the book for a Republican Southerner and applies those peculiarities in a motor-mouthed, annoying, quite funny but also endearing character like her partner. That is what the two have in common: they’re both endearing characters to each other and the world. They are endearing in how they see the world, what they want or have done and, most importantly, how they relate as mothers without the difference of age getting in the way.
And sometimes that is exactly what makes two opposites come together: a thin, thin thread is found between the two and however small that commonality is, it creates an unlikely friendship even if that friendship lies under a culturally touchstoned, politically stifled odd couple of a relationship for the ages.
Produced through arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, the LCCC Playhouse will showcase “Walter Cronkite is Dead” at 7:30 p.m. on April 14-16 and 21-23. Tickets are $10 for general admission and free for LCCC students. For reservations, contact 307-432-1626 or email the box office at email@example.com.