Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Soul sweep

Enchanted April clarifies love with distance and disclosure

Express Staff Writer

The cast of “Enchanted April,” is, from left to right, Steve Perigard, Andrew Alburger (sitting), Susan Sanford, KO Ogilvie, Irene Ziegler, David Janeski, Aly Wepplo, Neil Brookshire, Suzanne Gray, Jana Arnold, John Glenn.
Courtesy photo by Kirsten Shultz

    The play “Enchanted April,” tells of two discontented housewives in 1920s London, disenchanted with their marriages and the shifting social strata.
        The pair decide to shake things up and rent a villa in Italy for a holiday away from their bleak marriages. They recruit two very different English women to share the cost: a bitter elderly woman and a beautiful young socialite.
    As they all fall under the spell of Bella Italia, what they learn collectively, about love, life and themselves, surprises each of them and leads down paths they never thought they would take.
    Company of Fools’ has brought together a stellar cast that promises to deliver a stroll through the ideas of connectedness and embracing life’s magic through docile moments with a lush script and scenery to complete the journey. The show opens Tuesday, July 1 at 7 p.m. at the Liberty Theater.
    The creative team for “Enchanted April” includes Joe Lavigne on set design, Lynne Hartman on lighting and Darrin M. Pufall as costumer. Ann Price is the dialect coach and K.O. Ogilvie is stage manager.
    Director Steve Perigard returns to the company having previously directed productions of “Noises Off” and “Steel Magnolias.”
    Perigard lives in Richmond, Va., where his work as a director and performer has been seen on the stages of Virginia Repertory, Cadence Theatre, Richmond Shakespeare, Barksdale Theatre, Theatre IV, Theatre Gym, Firehouse Theatre, Theatre Virginia, SPARC, Theatre VCU, Randolph Macon College and The Collegiate School where he serves as the upper school director of theater.
    Perigard said he recently read the book and it’s all about knowing where you are in your life, feeling disconnected and how to reconnect.
    “It was relevant in 1922 and so appropriate today,” he said.
    This is one of those pieces that is no accident of timing, believes Denise Simone, Company of Fools core artist. She said the entire globe is in an introspective state and seeming to find that looking out hasn’t worked. She believes the story is just as timely today as when it was written.
    “That’s why theater continues. It is why we come together and refuel on our path,” she said.
    Jana Arnold, who plays Costanza in the play, said that for her the most revelatory moments are those that remind her that life can go from ordinary and droll to extraordinary simply by applying a different lens.
    “Nothing has to change to make a life completely different but the way you look at it,” she said. “It’s one of the coolest things to see that life-changing events can happen with a tweak of your attitude, or looking at it through different eyes.”
    This is not a male-bashing show, either. The men are not caricatures.
    “The men are identifiable, and understandable,” said Ogilvie. “They are given equal opportunity to evolve.”
    It seems there is no way to leave the theater unenchanted after seeing this story.
The Cast of “Enchanted April,” in alphabetical order
Andrew Alburger (Frederick Arnott) has been in more than 30 shows with Company of Fools, including “Shipwrecked,” “Distracted,” “The 39 Steps,” “Waiting for Godot,” “True West” (with Bruce Willis), “Sight Unseen,” “Bus Stop,” “Noises Off!,” “Violet,” “Sideman” and  “A Year With Frog & Toad.” Other credits include Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” and Harold Hill in “The Music Man” with St Thomas Playhouse.  

Jana Arnold (Costanza) is the recipient of two Los Angeles Drama League awards for outstanding performance in theater and, locally, has worked with Compaby of Fools, nexStage Theatre, Laughing Stock, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival, Off Center Stage and St. Thomas Players.

Neil Brookshire (Antony Wilding) has a B.A. from Boise State and an M.F.A. from Northern Illinois University.  Previous performances with Company of Fools include “The Woman in Black” and “Uncle Vanya.”  He also performed with the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Boise Contemporary Theater, Idaho Dance Theatre, Opera Idaho, Seattle Novyi Theatre and Great Lakes Theater, and with Idaho Shakespeare Festival for eight seasons. 

Suzanne Gray (Lady Caroline Bramble) is returning to the Company of Fools stage after recently playing the characters of Bruno and Yamba in its winter production of “Shipwrecked!”  She also recently performed the role of Mayella in Virginia Repertory Theatre’s production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  Gray resides in New York City and studies acting with The Barrow Group.  
David Janeski (Mellersh Wilton) is a theater artist based in Richmond, Va.  His credits with Company of Fools include Donald in “Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter,” Noah in “110 in the Shade,” Tom Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie,” and Charlie Brown in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” Other recent credits include “Shrek the Musical,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Pillowman” and “Spring Awakening.”

Susan Sanford (Rose Arnott) comes to Idaho from Charlotte, N.C., where she has played the roles of Violet in “9 to 5” and Doris in “Miracle on 34th Street.”   Regional roles include Veronica in “God of Carnage” (Virginia Repertory), Kate in “The Taming of the Shrew” (Richmond Shakespeare) and Lucy in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Aly Wepplo (Lotty Wilton) has performed previously

Enchanted April at
Hailey’s Liberty Theater through July

July 1-3, at 7 p.m., July 5, at 8 p.m.
July 8-10 at 7 p.m., July 11-12 at 8 p.m.
July 15-16 at 7 p.m. and July 19 at 8 p.m.
July 22-24 at 7 p.m. and July 25-26 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $35, $25 for seniors and Sun Valley Center for the Arts members and $10 for students 18 and under. Pay What You Feel night is Tuesday, July 1.
Call: 578-9122 or visit


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