Reviewed by Karla Froehlich
Clio Cast and Crew opened their production of “Anne of Green Gables” last evening to an almost sold out house. SOMEone broke the laughter ice in the first exchange between Anne and Matthew. This was an indicator of the subtle humor known mostly to those of us who are long in the tooth, and a lesson for this young cast in holding for laughs, and there are many in this sweet story.
Clever lighting and strategic placement of set pieces and paint divided this small stage into sections for three specific places inside and several outside. Rick Doll and Cindy Hubbard worked magic with the integrated set design, delivered by the great blocking of director, also, Cindy Hubbard. The magical lighting, turned on by Patrick Hubbard, Mance Broome, Jr. and “People in the Dark” Julie Tack and Jared Mazer, and lack of set changes, made this big little show of twenty-one scenes skate flawlessly along like many of Anne’s run-on sentences. Light is another actor in the telling this story, but no spoilers!
We waited in the light for a minute once or twice, and we’re certain it had to do with a few intricate costume changes and will tighten up like a good little corset. And these costumes!!! Costumers Dennis Swedorski, Daphne Navarre, and Noah Beauchamp nearly outdid themselves to help tell this story. Colors, styles, and hats. Many hats. It is a delight for the eyes.
The splendor of Anne’s world is delicately conveyed by Liza Dinnan, whose commitment is seen at first light. Creating a strong sense of home for young Anne are her new parents, siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, portrayed with love and honesty by Carl Frost and Johanna Kurnik. These actors brought the solid, fertile earth on which Liza’s Anne could blossom.
Adding to the potpourri of memorable and flowery performances, brought to you by a multigenerational cast, are first a delightful busybody in the form of impeccably dressed Rachel Lynde played perfectly by Melanie Poisson. Also, glistening like morning dew, we witness Samantha Tack bring Diana to life. Finally the perfect little bud in the bunch is Diana’s younger sister, Minnie May, delivered expertly by newest comer, Elise Bean.
Congratulations to all involved! A good time was and will continue to be had by all!
“Anne of Green Gables” continues at Clio Cast & Crew through May 1st. Order your tickets online at cliocastandcrew.com or call the box office at 810-687-2588.