Guest Column: You won’t be disappointed with ACT play

Published 9:29 pm Thursday, May 11, 2017

Stage Right by Erin Murtaugh

After viewing the final dress rehearsal of “Nana’s Naughty Knickers,” I’ve decided it is a play that can make just about anyone giggle from deep within their belly. The comedy, written by Katherine DiSavino, is set in a New York City apartment. We first meet Bridget, played by Kristi White, who is the granddaughter of 83-year-old Sylvia Charles, played by Rebekah Sousa. Bridget has come to stay with her grandmother for the summer. She gets help bringing some boxes in from police officer Tom O’Grady, played by Tanner Roush. After entering the apartment, “Nana” Sylvia Charles comes in to greet her granddaughter. Soon after, her friend Vera, played by Nancy Lahs, comes chasing after her.

Sylvia acts very suspicious as others offer to unpack Bridget’s things, but insists she will do it herself. Not long after, it is revealed that Sylvia has been running a lingerie operation out of her tiny apartment for years. The apartment was previously occupied by the building’s architect, who used it as a speakeasy during prohibition, leaving the perfect hiding places for Sylvia’s inventory.

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Bridget is mortified to learn of her grandmother’s business and is scared she will get in trouble for it. Vera, on the other hand, is ecstatic to help. Sylvia’s models that were supposed to come that afternoon both end up in the hospital, so she recruits her granddaughter and friend for help. When getting ready for the photoshoot, they realize that their delivery of lingerie was mixed up with another company’s, leaving them without the order of a very important client who was supposed to be coming later that day. In the process of trying to get things sorted out, Heather Van Pree, played by Marcy Tatro, accidentally reveals to Sylvia’s landlord, Gil Schmidt, of the business being run in the apartment. Schmidt, played by Jon Cochran, is elated to learn of the secret operation, as he has been looking for a reason to get rid of Sylvia for years. But, as Schmidt is telling Sylvia how he is going to get her evicted and arrested, in enters her most important client, Clair, played by Linda Altermatt. Clair threatens Schmidt, and Sylvia’s business is saved.

Rebekah Sousa plays the role of Sylvia stunningly, and Nancy Lahs fits right in along her side as the friend, Vera. Kristi White did an excellent job portraying Bridget, and the relationship between her and Officer O’Grady could not have been pulled off without the acting skills of Tanner Roush. Jon Cochran makes for the perfect “sleazy” and stereotypical bad landlord. Marcy Tatro’s personality fits that of Heather Van Pree’s perfectly. While Linda Altermatt’s role of Clair is not seen until the end of the play, she fit her character extremely well.

I applaud director Brian Mattson and the whole crew who put together the performance. The set design was great, and definitely reminded me of a grandmother’s home. Both Sylvia and Vera’s costumes fit their ages and characters very well. I would highly recommend that anyone looking for a laugh to go see “Nana’s Naughty Knickers.” You won’t be disappointed.

Erin Murtaugh is an Albert Lea resident.