Although the Cardinal Stage Company’s production at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre is called “Oh Lovely Glowworm,” the worm has only brief appearances. It’s a stuffed mechanical goat that gets the first words, lots of the other words and the last scene.
The entire play supposedly comes from the imagination of this four footed cud chewer. Science fiction and fantasy fans will probably be those most at home in Glen Berger’s little worlds of nearly Sisyphean strivings and torment.
This is the Cardinal Stage Company’s fifth production at the Buskirk-Chumley. Earlier shows: “Our Town,” “A Year of Frog and Toad,” “Amadeus,” and “Oliver” have all been big cast shows. “Oh LovelyGlowworm” is much more intimate. It does have thirteen characters, but once you count the seven roles that the versatile Henry Woronicz plays and the Oediple pair that the alternately aged and youthful Diana Kondrat covers,you’re down to just four other actors.
Fortunately, in a play that depends for effect on extensive repetition they are all strong. Tim True and Rob Johansen soldier through their life long competition in incident after incident with plenty of rough and tumble. In many scenes, they spend more time on the ground than upright. Somehow even in Rob Johansen’s unsuccessful wrestling match with a bicycle the show never crosses the line into farce. Julia Coffey was alluringly dangerous as the mermaid of their dreams and nightmares, and was nearly as dangerous without her tail as with. Mike Price continued to delight as an actor and impress as a singer.
I did occasionally find myself irritated with the casual pace of the show and sometimes the repetitions were a little tedious. But, the strength of the cast and the obvious skill of director Randy White as he directed the show with the lighting by Andrew Smith and the whimsical set design of Lauren Helpern made for an entertaining few hours of local professional theatre in our town.
The Cardinal Stage Company’s production of Glen Berger’s “Oh Lovely Glowworm” continues with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre through March 1st.
You can find an interview with actors Mike Price and Julia Coffey on our Arts Interviews page .