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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cast Has Fun With APT's 'Royal Family'

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Despite promotion to the contrary, American Players Theatre's The Royal Family has more heart than humor, but the production's greatest asset is its excellent cast of APT veterans and the fun they have with their roles.

Authors Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman's 1927 comedy chronicles the Cavendish family, a thinly disguised poke at the Barrymores, and the challenges they face as America's theatrical royalty. Director Laura Gordon brings out the best in her cast, particularly Tracy Michelle Arnold, who anchors the performance much as her character of Julie Cavendish anchors the family.

Like all families, the Cavendish clan jockeys for validation and opportunity. It's not hard to see ourselves as the matriarch Fanny (Sarah Day), the aging but vain Herbert (Jonathan Smoots), his flapper wife, Kitty (Colleen Madden), and the rakish and irresponsible Anthony (Marcus Truschinski), whose comic relief sometimes unsettles the play's finely tuned emotional rhythm.

But that's the playwrights' fault. Those willing to invest the three hours The Royal Family takes to unfold will be amply rewarded.

The Royal Family
continues through Sept. 29. For ticket information, visit americanplayers.org.
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