It would be hard to top the fall play “Mousetrap,” but director Ms. Woods has done it again! Vanguard actors delighted audiences last weekend in three full-house performances.
Fools, by Neil Simon, is one of the more humorous plays out there. The story starts with Leon Tolchinsky, an ambitious young schoolteacher, arriving in the village of Kulyenchikov, a small, make-believe Ukrainian town, to educate the beautiful Sophia Zubritsky. Unfortunately, the lovely Sophia, along with the rest of Kulyenchikov’s inhabitants, has been put under a curse of stupidity. As well as being relegated to idiocy, Sophia and the people of Kulyenchikov are also incapable of loving, an extremely unfortunate fact, given that this 200-year curse can only be broken if the last of the Yousekevitch line, Count Gregor (who was flawlessly played by talented 7th grader Cody McKenzie and makes everyone “tremble, tremble, tremble” in fear), marries Sophia, the last of the Zubritskys. With more twists than a daytime soap, all does indeed end happily, as Leon turns out to be a Yousekevitch after all–well, almost.
7th-grader Alexandra Deaver had the audience in stitches as an idiotic shepherd, Something Something Snetsky, the sheep loser. 8th-grader Blair Beene was hysterical as the fish-seller who only carried roses, and milked an upside-down cow (kudos to Michael Ramadan for donning that costume!). Freshmen Hannah Howard and Elizabeth Powell were excellent as an imposing magistrate and bumbling and lackadaisical postmistress, respectively. 7th-grader Michelle Ramadan did a fine job with Slovitch, whose greatest fear of being hopelessly stupid was indeed confirmed, as she remained quite dumb after the lifting of the curse. But the greatest praise must be reserved for those four in the leading roles. Seniors Jantzen Slaughter and Erin Frisch capped off their high school drama careers with the best performances I’ve seen so far – Jantzen was the best stupid doctor I’ve ever seen, and Erin was delightful as Sophia, the dumb brunette. Junior Caitlin Leslie was Sophia’s wonderfully goofy mother and Sophomore Paul Ruiz was her handsome and oh-so-intellectual suitor.
Hats off to the Vanguard thespians. Much fun was had by all.