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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You’re Only Young Twice


Elizabeth Loos as Julia, J.R. Stuart as “Brooksie” and
Debbie King-Raque as Rose in You're Only Young Twice.
Photo – Derby Dinner Playhouse.


You're Only Young Twice

By Ron Aldridge
Directed by Bekki Jo Schneider

Reviewed by Craig Nolan Highley

Entire contents are copyright © 2013, Craig Nolan Highley. All rights reserved.

Every parent has been through it: running with a gang, staying out all night drinking and partying, playing music way too loudly, and then sleeping until late afternoon. In Derby Dinner Playhouse’s latest production, Sue and Richard (Tina Jo Wallace and Cary Wiger) are going through it too. But the person driving them to their wits’ end in this case isn’t their teenage son. It's Sue’s father!

Gordon “Brooksie” Brooks (J. R. Stuart) is a recent widower; he spends his waking hours conversing with a photograph of his late wife (Janet Essenpreis) and his nights riding a motorcycle with his gang of other elderly juveniles: Tom (David Myers), Julia (Elizabeth Loos) and Rose (Debbie King-Raque).  He has moved in with Sue and Richard since Grace’s death and has been driving them crazy ever since.

Tom is about to marry Julia. Rose doesn’t approve because Tom is easily influenced and she believes he is taking Brooksie’s new motto “You’re only as young as you feel” too close to heart. As the wedding plans progress, a stag night gone wrong throws a wrench in the works.

Derby Dinner has brought this fun and “veddy British” play to life in a spritely production that never quite reaches falling-out-of-your-chair fits of laughter but kept me smiling nonetheless. No small share of that goes to the actors, who turn in uniformly strong performances.

Stuart and King-Racque are the standouts as the sparring Brooksie and Rose, opponents destined for a romantic reconciliation. Myers’ British accent falters some, but he is still quite convincing as the latter-day-groom having a midlife crisis. And Essenpreis has some lovely moments as the ethereal Grace, appearing to Brooksie in visions. (But I do wish she had been given a little more movement with the blocking; she almost constantly had her back to me and half the audience.)

Director Bekki Jo Schneider keeps the pace moving briskly, aided by Joshua Howe’s set, Ron Breedlove’s lighting and Sharon Murray Harrah’s costumes.

It’s not a production that breaks any new ground for the playhouse, but it’s well-mounted and entertaining. It certainly pleased the opening night crowd!

Starring Janet Essenpreis, Debbie King-Raque, Elizabeth Loos, David Myers, J. R. Stuart, Tina Jo Wallace and Cary Wiger.

You’re Only Young Twice

May 21 – June 30, 2013

Derby Dinner Playhouse
525 Marriott Drive
Clarksville, IN 47129
Tickets (812) 288-8281


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