On Friday, Jan. 25, I went to see the University of Dayton Theatre Program’s “The American Dream” and “Zoo Story,” two early plays of Edward Albee, directed by
Throughout the performance, I was alternatively grabbing my sides from laughing so hard and diving deep into thought about what the “American Dream” is.
The audience reacted well to “The American Dream,” laughing at the more obscene and confusing moments. The characters of Mommy and Daddy, played by freshman vocal performance major Elizabeth Amato and senior computer science major Patrick Lillis, respectively, were both funny and well portrayed, exaggerating the idea of what people perceive the American Dream to be.
Another character, Mrs. Barker, played by freshman public relations major Rashelle Felix, was more of a confusing character to understand, as I personally could not see what part her character would have to play in my vision of
“The American Dream.”
However, I was amused by Felix’s portrayal, particularly with her loud, booming voice and the competition that she plays with Mommy.
Grandma was played by sophomore English and theatre major Jenna Gomes. This character was amusing, watching her scooter around the stage and upset the characters of Mommy and Daddy with her anecdotes as to why elderly people are the way they are.
Finally, there was the character of “The American Dream,” played by freshman Kevin Cavallaro, who completed the symbolism of the show.
Cavallaro bore the resemblance of “The American Dream” with a muscular physique and a pretty face, while feeling empty and alone inside.
The second show, “Zoo Story,” was a much different performance. It’s about the conversation between a high society man of New York, Peter, and a self-proclaimed insane man by the name of Jerry, who Peter meets while reading in the middle of
Alex Chilton plays the character of Jerry very well, seeming to be a kind considerate man in one sentence and flying off the handle
in the next.
He helps make the audience feel Jerry’s desperation to connect with other people, telling the stories with great energy and enthusiasm. Senior general education major Phillip Titlebaum plays the part of Peter, showing how a characteristically calm and considerate man can be forced to violence in a moment.
I found both plays to be enjoyable. Although “The American Dream” does have funny moments to it, the main theme of the show is sometimes hard to grasp.
“You have to pay close attention and think about it to understand,” said junior chemical engineering major Janelle Stalter.
Senior psychology major Paul Obbagy said that he preferred
“[It] made sense as a plot and story,” said Obbagy.
Overall, I believe that the shows were well played, even if the main themes were strange and
hard to fathom.
The shows continue this weekend, Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. The cost is $7 for students, faculty and staff, and $12 for general admission. For more information contact the UD Theatre Program at 229-3950 or visit arts.udayton.edu.