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A View from the Cliff

Brilliant but troubled playwright Moss Hart is showcased by the Douglaston Community Theatre (DCT) players for one more weekend. Hart’s three act comedy, “Light Up the Sky,” is an insider’s look at the hopes and hypocrisies of 1940s Broadway.
The curtain rises at the Zion Episcopal Church Parish Hall off Douglaston Parkway and 44th Avenue.
More a study of individual foibles than a broad farce, the cast is composed of mostly familiar local theatre veterans. A large crowd in attendance, judging by their laughter, approved of the production.
Kevin C. Vincent leads the pack as the larger than life producer Sidney Black. Everything he touches turns to gold. Just ask his dazzling, sassy wife Frances (Jennifer DiMatteo). An equal match for her brash, savvy style is Stella Livingston (Marilyn Welsher). All three play their roles with just the right swagger.
Another side of the theatrical coin is revealed by Irene Livingston (Faith Elliott).
Her exaggerated emotions are perfect caricature. Only Carlton Fitzgerald (Frank Freeman), who sheds tears of joy at each rehearsal, is more melodramatic.
The voices of reason are represented by Owen Turner (Michael Wolf) and Miss Lowell (Annette Daiell). Wolf ably portrays a worldly wise playwright. Daiell is a steady picture of common sense. At the other extreme, Tyler Rayburn (Dan Bubbeo) literally prances and sings across the stage. William Gallegher (Peter Vrankovic) is a hotel convention reveler who unwittingly offers the information on which the play’s climax revolves.
Perhaps as a self portrait, playwright Moss Hart builds the plot around a brand new theatrical author, Peter Sloan (Keith Junas). At first the character is moved by what seems to be sincere acceptance from his peers. When the same allies abandon him, Sloan awakens to the cruel realities of show business. A final twist transforms the playwright into his own man: no nonsense, all creativity.
Director Tom Williams has guided the troupe skillfully. Along with John Palmieri, he wears even more backstage hats. These include set design and construction, lighting and sound. Williams also proudly informs the audience before curtain that the DCT players are celebrating 60 years on the community theatre stage.
Call 718-482-3332 or try surfing to www.spotlightonstage.com for details on many Queens shows. Autumn leaves have barely begun falling over local theatres. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.

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