Even actors can get the Monday "blahs."
Monday's performance of "Kiss and Tell" at the Hale Center Theater Orem needed a little push start to get going, but it turned out all right in the end.The discomfort that some of the actors seemed to feel on stage did not entirely detract from the spirit of the classic play of soldiers, sisters, family feuds and growing up.
"Kiss and Tell," a comedy first performed in New York in 1943, tells the story of the Archers, a family whose son, Lenny (Todd Drummond), is at a nearby military base preparing to go to war and whose daughter, Corliss (Brooke Wilkins), is 15 going on 22 and wants to grow up fast.
Father Harry Archer (Richard Wilkins) and mother Janet (Rosalie Richards) spend the course of the play trying to shield their children from the "trampy" influence of their neighbors, the Pringles.
Mildred Pringle (Cory Jacobsen) is Corliss' best friend and hopelessly in love with Lenny, but, of course, her mother, Dorothy Pringle (Vernene Butler), does all she can to prevent any interaction. Mildred's little brother, Raymond (Devin Overly), seems omnipresent and is always "taking care of things."
Lenny comes home for a 72-hour leave, and he and Mildred decide to get married. But, since they are forbidden to see each other, the only one they tell is Corliss.
Then life gets crazy.
Corliss has been seeing Jimmy Earhart (Douglas Erik Dial), a soldier whom her parents invited over for dinner. At the same time Dexter Franklin (Nate Hale) - the boy next door who has liked Corliss for some time - is getting jealous.
Then Mildred finds out she is pregnant and she will soon have to tell her family that she is married to the son of the family her parents hate so much, and Corliss is seen coming out of the Mildred's doctor's office.
Corliss' parents think she is the one who is pregnant. Having promised Mildred she won't tell, Corliss accepts her fate.
Even though you know everything will work out all right, it's kind of fun getting there. And it is worth seeing the play for the end of Scene 2, Act II. The sparkle in Corliss' eye and Dexter's "holy cow" make the scene work wonderfully.
Brooke Wilkins does a wonderful job as Corliss. Her attempts at extended vocabulary - doctors are always honest, they have to take a "hypocritical oath" - and her desire to become a young woman seem to come from one who has experienced the same things in her life.
Also fun to watch is Nate Hale as Dexter. He likes Corliss, he stumbles and grows up at the same time.
Other cast members include Bob Chambers as Mr. Willard, Lori Erickson as Louise, Linda Hale as Mary Franklin, Steve Kenworthy as Bill Franklin, and Gary Nielson as Uncle George.
Nearly the entire production is double-cast, so the combinations of actors are endless. The performances could be a little different every night.
Double-cast parts include Nathan Hale as Mr. Willard, Amber Radebaugh as Corliss, Brinton Wilkins as Raymond, Judy Cook as Mildred, Brent Jorgansen as Dexter and Lenny, Tanya Radebaugh as Janet Archer, Steve Kenworthy as Harry Archer, Cody Hale as Bill Franklin, Sherry Brian as Dorothy Pringle and Roger Barker as Uncle George.
But that is what community theater is all about, and Hales offer the opportunity for anyone who wants to, and auditions, to give it a try.
Don't miss "Kiss and Tell" - especially for that one scene - because the play is good and it will assuredly get smoother with time and experience.