Main Street Theater

 Main Street Theater



by MG

Fallen Angels: A Comedy in Three Acts by Noël Coward
Three Acts Three Scenes Three female actors Three male actors
More than three laughs by the audience (13 years of age and older) at the Main Street Theater’s Production of Fallen Angels, by Noël Coward, playing July 10 – August 3.

With their passionless husbands away (playing golf!), Julia and Jane learn that a mutual lover from days gone by is making an impromptu visit. In a tizzy, there’s obviously only one thing to do: uncork the champagne! With each glass of bubbly providing new courage, tongues begin to loosen, suppressed jealousies make themselves known, and the claws come out. But that’s nothing compared to the hysterical chaos that ensues when the husbands return early – and unexpectedly…Fallen Angels is Coward at his sparkling best.

The gracious management of MST offered $5 tickets for Houstonians and visitors to the city (some from Omaha, NE) the experience of a Claire Hart-Palumbo(SAG-AFTRA) directed play. The theatre was filling, and filling and filling. Our stand by ticket holder was seated, and the lights dimmed and we were in a British parlor, thanks to Claire A Jac Jones set, Rodney Walsworth’s props and Eric L Marsh’s lighting.

Fast paced from the first moment, the charming British couples take us in. The impeccable staging (remember poles block some of the n/s seats) offered all patrons views of the delightful, education maid Saunders (UT MBA Elizabeth Marshall Black) while the red headed Julia’s(WWA Equity Crystal O’Brien) high energy and passion interested everyone in the most mundane…it’s all in how you say it! Enter blonde Jane (UH MFA), Julia’s best friend and immediately ours, matching energy and drama to keep everyone involved in what was happening next. Saunders lines were covered with laughter, rarely but sometime muffled due to audience response and the complexity of the topic this ‘smarty pants’ liked to share.

The men were an exquisitely balanced counterpoint to the women, Willy (MFA Actors Studio Dain Geist), Fred (UH SAG-AFTRA Bobby Haworth) and Maurice Duclos (Equity AADA/W Joel Sandel focused the audience on their range of dramatic responses as their listening skills and perspectives adjusted by this rollicking script. Coward built drama in so many areas of this play…watch for them!

Diction is not fiction with this skilled cast! Partnered with Shawn W. St John’s sound, Coward’s brilliant dialogue blossomed right here in Houston, TX. The piano was not just a prop in this production…many actors’ fingers flew over the keys as the drama built. What was that tune?

This audience was serious in their respect for the art they came to watch. Not one cell phone dithered during the entire performance!

Fallen Angels is a play by the British actor and playwright Noël Coward that opened, in London, at the Globe Theatre (now called the Gielgud Theatre) in 1925, starring Tallulah Bankhead. The cast of the original 1927 Broadway production included: Julia Sterroll – Fay Bainter; Frederick Sterroll – Gordon Ash; Jane Banbury – Estelle Winwood; William Banbury – Gerald Hamer; Jasmine Saunders – Eileen Beldon and Maurice Duclos – Luis Alberni; The cast of a 1956 Broadway revival included: Julia Starbuck – Nancy Walker; Frederick Starbuck – William Windom; Jane Danbury – Margaret Phillips; William Danbury -William LeMassena; Jasmine Saunders – Alice Pearceand Maurice Duclos – Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

Be a part of the next to the final production in their ‘old digs’. July 27 offers a post show discussion at 5 pm (guests of any production welcome.) Construction begins after their final play, Noël Coward’s play, “Peace in Our Time.” Main Street Theater – Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd.. Houston.