Orange County Theatre Reviews

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Most people remember this story as the film All About Eve (1950), which was nominated for 14 Academy Awards.  It went on to win six Oscars that year, including Best Picture. Even in recent history very few films can say they’ve accomplished that feat.  When you have such well-known material it’s almost a guarantee that the script is good, but it also intensifies the scrutiny of the material. All About Eve is iconic, and in the wrong hands the play (which changed the title to The Wisdom of Eve and was created in the 1960’s) has the potential to be dreadfully boring, overlong (as it runs 3 hours) and predictable.  I am pleased to report that this is not the case with the Westminster Community Playhouse’s performance. 

Photographer – Nabil Wire

 The Wisdom of Eve sustains itself throughout because of a strong showing from a portion of the actors and actresses. Though the talent is uneven at points, it is rarely distracting enough to discredit the many things happening in the plot.

In the story we witness Eve’s manipulatively rise to the top of Broadway, using any means necessary to get there.  That’s basically the whole point of the entire storyline. While it might seem straight forward and not that creative, the opposite could not be more true.  The play uses a what I would describe as a soap opera type plot with emphasis on backstabbing.  Now even though soap opera plotting is overdone and has become a huge cliché, soaps are still running, and backstabbing dramas are still around.  They flourish  because they work, and All About Eve is one of the best ones to do it.

Westminster playhouse has a uniquely U Shaped stage.  I’ve yet to see  director take advantage of the theatre’s shape, and this play doesn’t utilize it either.  The lighting design by Bob Nydeggar is so minimal it’s barely there.  There is a great moment where they use a spotlight on the Karen Roberts (Maria O’Connor) character when she’s crying, but besides that very little of the set design does anything to improve the narrative in this story.

Meredith Culp plays Eve, and I had seen her in Brandon Ferruccios’ last play at Westminster, The Uninvited.  She was good in that play, and it’s fantastic they’ve continued to work together because Culp has improved so much since then. Culp slays this role. When you put her beside Shane Cervantes (Lloyd Roberts), Darri Kristin(Margo Crane) and Greg Stokes (Clement Howell), they concoct entertaining and fun melodrama just from the merit of their acting alone. Cervantes, who played the writer in the story, hits every dramatic note. He’s very talented and someone to look out for.          

This is a difficult show to perform and there were enough obvious mistakes acting wise to make it slightly distracting.  Still the errors could be fixed with more rehearsal. The show is fun, well written and worth the ticket price if you venture into Westminster.  

Feb 3 – Feb 12th 2017


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  • Photographer - Nabil Wire
  • Photographer - Nabil Wire
  • Photographer - Nabil Wire
  • Photographer - Nabil Wire
  • Photographer - Nabil Wire

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