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A Thousand Clowns

A Thousand Clowns

St. Louis – October 4, 2012

Herb Gardner’s A Thousand Clowns opened Friday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the West High Theatre.

Clowns originally opened in the 1962, a witty comedy about an unorthodox uncle who is raising his bright nephew in a unique way. The show presents issues and lessons still relevant today: unemployment, responsibility, reliability and love. With the coverage of child abuse over the last 50 years, the seriousness of the play amplified.

The three-hour show was full of both silent and dialogue acting. The dead air was full of deliberate facial expressions and actions, giving necessary information to further the story. Drama Teacher Amie Gossett’s direction with the cast members made this show unique. Though the scenes were extensive, the comedy presented by the star Keith Taveras made them pass with pleasant laughter.

Taveras, the incompliant uncle, Murray Burns, oozed ease on the stage. His comedic interactions with his co-stars caused bellows of laughter in the audience. His journey from a nonconformist to a loving family man is presented with a relatable superiority. Of the remaining cast, sophomore Doug Browne (as Leo Herman) and senior Annie Schuver (as Sandra Markowitz) made an impression. The young actor presented the eccentric star and director in a professional way that made him shine in a remarkable light. Schuver made the roller coaster of emotions evoke laughter and empathy from the audience.

Gardner’s props added a silent comedic subplot seen through by Rebecca Bouchard and Kristin Solodar. The choice of costumes by Kelli Jaycox and Faith Cho enhanced the characters. Sarah Cange’s lighting is effective, subtle, and elevated the intense message of the show.

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