(Harp, playing "Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella," CD 5229.)
Outside the Brown County Playhouse it’s mid-summer but inside at Sam and Bela Spewack’s comedy "My Three Angels," directed by Dale McFadden, it is Christmas eve. It softens the playgoers’ shock a bit that at least the weather is similar. "My Three Angels" is set in French Guiana in 1910 and there on December 24th, it’s one hundred and four degrees, and humid.
Despite a bit of festive decoration on Mark Frederic Smith’s richly detailed set and the handsome costumes by Amanda Bailey, the Ducotel family is in a less than holiday mood. The father, Felix Ducotel, played by Jonathan Molitor is a failing shopkeeper whose business is being threatened by the arrival of his cruelly capitalist cousin, Uncle Henri Trochard, played by Sam Wooten. The fresh young daughter, Marie Louise Ducotel, played by Sara Rebrovic is about to learn that her fiancée, Paul Trochard, played by Josh Gaboian has jilted her. The resourceful mother, Emilie Ducotet, played by Allison Batty is trying to hold things together.
Things look pretty bleak for this otherwise lovely family of "My Three Angels," but "…up on the roof top, click, click, click…" No, it’s not the sound of the reindeer of Old Saint Nick. It’s the sound three convict laborers repairing the roof. The three are two murderers, played by Jose Antonio Garcia and Brad Fletcher, and an embezzler, played by Chris Nelson. Despite their crimes, these gentlemen have a code of their own, a sort of set of "family values," that doesn’t care for the cruelty being dished out by the uncle or the callowness paraded by his son.
The cast is generally excellent. On opening night Allison Batty was especially outstanding as the mother, Emilie Ducotet. Chris Nelson as the embezzler and bookkeeping enthusiast, showed enough charm for a whole stage. Sam Wooten was appropriately cold and venal as Uncle Henri.
"My Three Angels" is a good old fashioned character driven story in which the plight of the kind Ducotel family, the combined crimes of the Uncle and his son, and the honor and resourcefulness of the prisoners are all nicely mixed with a good bit of humor and irony.
The Brown County Playhouse’ production of Sam and Bella Spewack’s gentle comedy "My Three Angels" play Wednesday through Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons ’til August third.