Reviewed by Jade Goodes
Last weekend Apple Hill Players began their first solo production at the Trafford Performing Arts Center since their merger with the Theatre Factory earlier this year. They took on the play Bermuda Avenue Triangle, a comedy about two senior women whose lives get upturned after moving to a retirement community in Las Vegas. The production offers some light-hearted fun, laughs, and bright performances from the cast.
Bermuda Avenue Triangle centers around two senior citizen women who are begrudgingly moved to a retirement community in Las Vegas by their daughters. At first cynical and pessimistic about the move, their opinion changes after meeting a mysterious man who saves them from a mugging. The man soon becomes an important part of the women’s lives and completely shakes up their world (mostly for the better).
Bermuda Avenue Triangle runs at the Trafford Performing Arts Center. The small theater works for this particular production as the cast comprises only six actors, with only one main setting for the entirety of the play. The set itself is the main living area of the condo the two women share. Being as the show takes place in their living room, the size of the theater works well as it makes you feel like a fly on the wall watching the action take place. It reminded me of The Golden Girls, which works perfectly for this particular production.
The cast of Bermuda Avenue Triangle works together to present a play that is both heartfelt and humorous. I enjoyed the authenticity of the relationships between the two mothers and their daughters. It didn’t seem far off from mothers/daughters that you would know personally, making it easier to relate to their situation. I would like to recognize the matriarchs (so-to-speak ) of the show, Terri Fickley, and Pam Farneth, who play the endearing Tess and Fannie. They both developed very distinct characters that make it easy for an audience member to completely understand who they are and their relationship to one another. Fickley and Farneth work well off one another, and whether they are bickering, ranting, or just talking, they are a joy to watch together. Some of my favorite moments of the show come from Act 2 after the audience has seen Tess and Fannie adjust to their new living arrangements. Farneth and Fickley truly shine in the second half, where they get to showcase their comedic chops and expressive physicality.
Where I thought the show struggled was in the pacing. I felt some scenes, especially more of the comedic moments of the show, could have been improved if the pacing and rhythm had been quicker and sharper. At times the funny dialogue or gags would get lost or not hold up well because the moment got dragged out for too long, and/or it just wasn’t hit in the right way. For example, in the first scenes where the man (Johnny) has his one-on-one moments with Tess and Fannie, the comedy would have been heightened if the rhythm and pacing were worked out a bit more. When a gag sits for too long, or a joke isn’t jumped on at the right time the moment can pass, and you lose the comedy of the bit. It just felt like some scenes needed a bit more tweaking to make the comedy work out perfectly. The cast works well together as an ensemble, so it’s not necessarily a talent issue. I found it was more an issue with refining and finetuning to make scenes more smooth and polished.
While Apple Hills Players’ production of Bermuda Avenue Triangle may not always hit the mark, they make up for it by delivering a fun night of theater with bright performances from a small but mighty cast. If you are looking to have an enjoyable evening and want something fun and light-hearted to enjoy, definitely check out this production.
Bermuda Avenue Triangle plays at the Trafford Performing Arts Center through September 25. Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.onthestage.tickets/show/apple-hill-playhouse/bermuda-avenue-triangle-27777/tickets
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