Dynamic ‘Carmen’ Brings Laughs
A talented ensemble
joins Wisconsin Hybrid Theater (WHT) regulars Jim Owczarski and Char Paulbicke
in the role of actors from the golden age of radio who are broadcasting a live
radio adaptation of the classic story. Beth Lewinski portrays radio actress
Debra Burnham, who in turn plays Carmen. Burnham is an aggressive figure in the
studio, and Lewinski has mastered the necessary comic intensity to make the
role work. In a clever performance, Ruth Arnell plays the beautiful ingénue
Mosey Wells, a character written to be an exceptionally bad actress, but also
exceptionally sweet. There’s an art to deliberately acting poorly for comic
effect, and Arnell executes it brilliantly.
professionalism as the male lead serves as a center to the presentation.
Paulbicke’s comically contagious nervousness provides both sound effects and
perpetually worried maternal stress. Sommers’ humor is never terribly deep or
profound, but the comedy in the script is only part of the equation. In
bringing together the right kind of talent and pointing it in the right
direction, Sommers’ shows are always a great deal of fun.
Wisconsin Hybrid Theater’s Carmen runs through May 9 at the Alchemist Theatre (2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.).