Harris: Both ladies have the answers on RCT stage

You may wonder why you would want to see the premiere performance of the same play twice in the same week; you may even ask how this is possible; the word premiere by definition means first night; however, this is exactly what happened over the first two nights (April 16 and April 17) of the debut to this season’s play at the Richmond Community Theatre.

Both actors playing the role of Ann Landers, on alternate days, in David Rambo’s biopic study of this famous American agony-aunt in “The Lady with All the Answers.”

Submitted photo Kimberly Harrington, left, and Vickie Cox take turns playing renowned advice columnist Ann Landers in "Lady With All the Answers." The play opens Thursday at Richmond Community Theatre in downtown Rockingham.

Submitted photo
Kimberly Harrington, left, and Vickie Cox take turns playing renowned advice columnist Ann Landers in “Lady With All the Answers.” The play opens Thursday at Richmond Community Theatre in downtown Rockingham.

Vickie Cox, who has always supported the Richmond Community Theatre and drew the short straw to play the ‘first night’, never gave a thought to the fact that her debut acting role would be a solo one; a daunting task which she delivered in a delicate, compassionate rendition of this famous women’s biography.

Vickie said that she was looking forward to her first performance with both excitement and fear; I witnessed none of that from where I was sitting; all I saw within the realms of this soliloquy was Ann Landers.

The second ‘first night’ had Kimberly Harrington playing the role; her interpretation of Landers seem to concentrate on the strengths of a women who had conquered the world of media as an agony aunt on the one hand, and having to face up to problems in her own domestic life with another. How do I tell America of my dilemma? At the very end of the play; sitting down at her desk to reply to another letter, to me, was very poignant. If you go to see this play, give yourself the pleasure of watching both performances because the interpretations are so strikingly different, yet equally as brilliant as one another; words cannot alone express the majesty of these two actors performances; their charity and hard work deserves a full house every day.

Director Shelly Walker has obviously worked tirelessly with the actors; giving them license and room to develop their own perceptions and performance in the role of this powerful character. This takes a lot of skill and belief in the abilities of those she is working with, and it goes without saying that the results speak for themselves.

Finally, the stage set is a work of art; a brilliant effort by all those involved with the Richmond Community Theatre.

The Richmond Community Theatre needs your support. It is your opportunity as a member of this fine community to experience an art form that would otherwise be lost without the support and generosity of its Patrons, Sponsors and Benefactors. For only $12 (your second visit, to experience both performances, will only cost you $6) is extremely good value for money. Go on the Internet and see how much it costs to go to a theater on Broadway.

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Opinion

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