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Peccadillo ó Criticís Choice
Theatre Review by Elias Stimac, Drama-Logue, Nov. 10-16, 1994

Barbara Beckley and the Colony Studio Theatre have done it once again. Never content to rest on their laurels from previous successes - and there have been so many - this talented troupe has designed another superb theatrical experience with Garson Kaninís Peccadillo.

This may be the West Coast premiere of the 1985 work by show biz maven Kanin, but it will probably return to the local scene repeatedly after word of this polished presentation gets around. Lovingly crafted and cast to perfection, this tale of the trials and tribulations of a lofty celebrity marriage is hilariously human and down-to-earth.

When international conductor "Maestro" Vito DeAngelis (William Dennis Hunt) and his "Mrs. Maestro" Rachel (Barbara Beckley) both decide to write autobiographical accounts of their lives, it is up to their respective ghost writers, Robert (Robert Stoeckle) and Iris (Denise Dillard), to keep them on the "write" track while keeping themselves out of the story. Unfortunately, before one can say "Leaping liaisons," the tables have turned on this quirky quartet, irrevocably altering the last chapters of the books.

David Rose once again proves his directorial dexterity with his suave and savory interpretation of this new chestnut. The physical humor is as rambunctious as the verbal is subtle, and Roseís orchestration of it all is divine.

His six member ensemble is equally sterling, each impeccably cast in their roles. Hunt is a powerful pussycat as Vito, rousingly rough and romantic as his mood dictates. Beckley is a particularly powerful match as Rachel, maintaining her above-it-all composure and know-it-all smile throughout the alternately emotional and farcical proceedings. Dillard is a delicious dream as the repressed writer who blossoms under her idolís guidance, and Stoeckle is charmingly cautious as the caught-in-the-middle biographer. Beans Morocco and Kurt Boesen contribute immeasurably as the household staff who do everything but dive on the floor to keep things in order.

Technical wonders at the Colony never cease, and the technical director, Hap Lawrence has brought all the elements together with panache. Scenic designer Gary Wissmann has provided cast and crew with another splendid setting, and his richly-detailed mansion home is furnished with finesse by D. Ewing Woodruff. Gary Christensen sheds sumptuous light on the set, Michael David Wadler adds the crisp sound design, and the marvelous costumes by Carolyn Vega and Laura Dwan are especially effective and inspired.

This may be the start of the Colonyís 20th Anniversary season, but their youthful spirit and enthusiasm have never been more vibrantly displayed.  Hereís hoping that Peccadillo will be the beginning of another breathtaking 20 years for the group.
 

Copyright 1994 Drama-Logue
Reprinted with Permission
Peccadillo at the Colony Theatre