CA - Nicholas Nickelby
is an entertaining production and a must see for the holiday
paced story opens as Nicholas Nickelby’s father passes away.
Nicholas and his family turn to their money-making consumed
Uncle Ralph for assistance. When Uncle Ralph literally tears the
family apart for reasons of his own, Nicholas is thrown into
several life changing experiences involving a corrupt boarding
school and a traveling theater troupe. After rescuing an abused
boy named Smike, he embarks on a quest to reunite with his
family and to provide them with a good life.
adaptation by Gregory Blair is faithful to the original, and
rest assured is not as lengthy as the well known Royal
Shakespeare Company version of 1980. In attempting to fit so
many characters on a stage and spit out several storylines in
only two and a half hours time, there are moments where the
dramatic punch fails as in the sad outcome for the character of
Smike and moment where Uncle Ralph learns of a shocking
revelation in Act Two. However, what does work is the character
of Nicholas Nickelby. His character comes across very likeable
and the audience roots for him to have a happy ending. There are
also a parade of minor characters who do entertain and help move
the story along as in the case of the poshy Cheeryble brothers,
the evil Squeers family, and the members of the traveling
direction of August Vivirito, the strongest draw in this
production are the actors. Ethan Kogan is appealing and engaging
as Nicholas Nickelby. He brings his talent to the table and
performs with ease. Steven Connor gives a believable performance
as the greedy Uncle Ralph. Skip Pipo shows he is having fun in
the role of reliable servant Newman Noggs. Jennifer Ruckman
brings intelligence into the character of Nicholas sister Kate.
Jeremy Lelliott draws sympathy as the sickly Smike, and does
what he can with the role. Scot Renfro and Georgan George prove
to be a devilish pair as the evil Squeers. Michelle Simek's
characterizations of Fanny Squeers and Nina Crummles are
hilarious. Joy Nash juggles all her minor roles with gusto and
is a hoot to watch in every scene. Rounding out the cast are
John Basiulis, Frank Kesby, Jonathon Markanday, Dominick Marrone,
Aubrey Saverino, Margaret Schugt and Scotty Servis.
costumes in this production are simply divine and bring quality
to the production. The set design also recieves a kudos nod,
fully utilizing the small theater space with great detail
bringing the audience into the world of Nicholas Nickelby.
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