A "You be the Critic" letter submitted by Bethany Brunelle
Anchorage Community Theater, my old stomping grounds, where countless hours were spent in auditions, rehearsals and performance. Where the power of art and creativity was born in my soul. The last performance I was in, “A Story of Cinderella,” was in 1999. Life somehow got in the way of art and creativity, and since then has been void of the splendor that is Anchorage Community Theater, (ACT).
Since the curtain fell on my last performance there have been a lot of changes to ACT, a lot of positive changes. One of the things that has changed is their entrance from the warehouse side where one walked into a room that always smelled wonderfully of paint and varnish, where hopefuls anxiously awaited their turn to read for a part, to a nicely painted foyer with framed posters of past shows line the walls, (including the one from my last play). I didn’t think I would like this transformation; I always loved performing at APU’s Grant Hall, and have always wondered why ACT would want to create such a small theater for their performances. For their current show, “My Three Angels,” the foyer is richly decorated for Christmas setting the mood.
Though things have changed, the warm, welcome of Executive Director and performer Bill Cotton (Henri Trochard) made it feel like coming home to a long lost friend. The old audition and rehearsal studio has been transformed into a small yet intimate stage. In fact, with the way the seating is arranged it feels as if you are on stage with the performers as an integral part of the production. Its like you are in your living room watching a big screen television set, but its better than anything high definition has to offer.
ACT’s production of “My Three Angels,” written by Sam and Bella Spewack and directed by Don Gomes tells the Christmas story of the Ducotel family, three convicts, and their struggles in French Guiana, during the Christmas Eve of 1910. This splendid production is well rehearsed and well acted. The opening scene starts in the living room of the Ducotel residents, where Felix (Todd Sherwood) and Emilie Ducotel, (Jane Baird) discuss their current financial crisis, and the prisoners, two murderers and a con artist on work release who are currently working on their roof. News comes of the possible demise of the Ducotel’s General Store with the arrival of their financier Henri Trochard, and his nephew Paul (Carl Bright), with whom their daughter Marie Louise (Cena Moody) is in love with, and recently found out he was engaged to one of her close friends in France. Upon news of their ultimate demise, the Ducotel’s, are visited by the three convicts working, (Kevin T. Bennet, David Flavin, Max Aronson), who try to fix the problems the Ducotel’s face, and thus become their “three angels.”
If you are looking for a typical Christmas play with angels, shepherds and wise men don’t come here. If you are looking for something charming and different I would highly recommend this show. The intimate theater of ACT is sure to delight audiences of all ages.