Last weekend, I jumped on the N train and made my way to Astoria to the home of Ophelia Theatre Group for their performance of the thoroughly delightful romp entitled "Some Night," written by resident playwright Sarah Victoria Bennett. Under the deft and playful direction of Eric Ruiter, the troupe of eight talented actors turned a wing of an active Boys and Girls Club on 21st Street in Queens into the realm of a fairy Queen and King. The action of the play centers on a band, The Canker Blossoms, getting ready for their biggest gig to date. But complications arise when the husband and wife team of Natalie (Megan Magee) and Theo (Nick Denning) split up during the dress rehearsal, and several key band members threaten to bolt and start their own outfit. It turns out that the husband and wife team are actually Fairy King Oberon and Queen Titania in mortal form, and their personal assistants, Rob (James Jelkin) and Faye (Elizabeth Scopel) are actually Puck, a.k.a. Robin Goodfellow, and Titania's Lady in Waiting.
The members of The Canker Blossoms are mash-ups of other characters from A Midsummer's Night Dream, including some of the memorable rude mechanicals. Den (Ethan Crystal) is the keyboard player who is feuding with Lon (Ashley Grombol), the lead singer and owner of the recently refurbished performance space. They have apparently irreconcilable creative differences. Haden (Landon Sutton) is the bass player and songwriter for the group, and Harry (Zach Rich) is the bemused drummer who appears to be stoned most of the time.
|Elizabeth Scopel as Faye|
James Jelkin as Rob
"Some Night" by Sarah Victoria Bennett
Ophelia Theatre Group
21-12 30th Road, Astoria, Queens, NY
Through Saturday, March 25th
The loose plot follows much of the storyline of Shakespeare's original, with much artistic license being granted to these players as they use this play to celebrate their being together for several years in creative harmony. The eclectic set and lighting by Shelby Lee Loera includes items from past productions. The entire event is a loving Valentine to art, to the creative process, and to the relationships it engenders. Rebecca Joy Wallace designed the costumes, and Layla Sutton did the choreography.
The audience loved the proceedings, which included some fun fight sequences, as well as some impressive Meatloaf-style shredding by Mr. Jelkin. When called upon to play music, the members of The Canker Blossoms acquitted themselves wonderfully, with Mr. Crystal's voice being - well, crystal clear, and blending seamlessly with that of Ms. Grombol.
If you want to taste some of the magic, you have two more opportunities - this Friday and Saturday evening at 8:00.
Ophelia Theatre Website