DTF 'Fallen Angels' a romp
Truly showcasing the women in this story, the play is primarily focused on Julia Sterroll (Amy Lynn Stewart) and Jane Banbury (Jeanine Serralles). Set in London, the women are happily married to two respectable gentlemen, Fred and Willy (Tony Hagopian and Ronan Babbitt). And, while their relationships are comfortable, the passion is questionable.
As Fred and Willy head to the country to play golf, Julia and Jane receive news that could potentially turn their worlds upside down. In their younger years, they each had shared (separately, of course) the love and companionship of one very handsome, very French, Maurice Duclos (Gene Gillette). As he has announced a visit and requested a meeting with the ladies, Julia and Jane are sent into a tizzy - not sure if they should run, or surrender. The mutual desire for surrender leaves them having dinner and drinks, waiting for his arrival. As they wait, and continue drinking, they recall all of the wonderfully romantic times they had with Maurice. Adding to the fun, Coward created a world-wise, scene-stealing maid, Saunders (Melissa Hurst), who brings cocktails, plays piano, and is fully capable of translating French.
Stewart and Serralles play well with each other. Stewart's prim and proper Julia compliments Serralles' uptight yet unhinged Jane. The two clearly demonstrate the love, the wrath, and ability to forgive that is unique to girlfriends. Hagopain and Babbitt serve their leading ladies well, and though their parts are smaller, the characters were well developed.
Gillette, as Maurice, is every bit as smooth as you would like him to be.
The overall story line is a bit trite, but fun. When the husbands return from their golf game to find the Frenchman in the company of their wives, the confusion and folly plays like "Sex in the City meets The Importance of Being Earnest." The director and actors are to be given credit for providing substance, modern relevance and tremendous energy to the simple story.
The play, in three acts, has no intermissions, and runs at 1 hr, 30 min, making this a delightfully quick summer comedy. Audiences will find themselves laughing riotously the women's antics and commentary. For more information about this show, and others, at The Dorset Theatre Festival, go to www.dorsettheatrefestival.org.
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