Tea for Two by the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA
November 12, 2019
Review submitted by Charlotte Smith of Shipley School
Unification, division and comedy: most would think that these are three completely different descriptors. However, in The Baldwin School’s show Table for Two, they described one entertaining show.
Table for Two portrays the concept of the table as both a unifying symbol but also a barrier throughout five separate scenes. Each scene evoked starkly different emotions through several distinct settings: a dinner date, a DMV office, an audition room, a diner and a studio. They each followed a similar arch with the table in front of them physically bringing them closer yet pushing them further and further away.
The cast tackled this difficult project admirably. The separation of each scene was followed by a good amount of liveliness. While the energy started rather low, most likely due to first night jitters, it picked up tremendously throughout the show.
A talented group of students made this show a good performance to witness. Notably, Julie Brose’s performance as Elizabeth, struggling to please the casting director during her audition, was both stunning and comedic. Her blocking mixed with her undeniable sense of comedic timing made for a very memorable performance. Additionally, Jattu Fahnbulleh stood out with her rendition of a TV producer named Rodger. Everyone in the audience truly got a sense of her character; she did not say her lines, she lived them.
The supporting characters in this piece did a nice job with the task they were given. They did not shy away from the challenges of their roles. However, Emily Seltzer stood out in her performance of the final scene, “The Spot,” with her witty humor.
The set for the play was minimalistic, yet chic. However, it was oftentimes hard to focus on the actors on stage due to the broad lighting, especially during intimate scenes. The costumes themselves were simple but effective, using everyday wear for each and every character.
The Baldwin School’s performance of Table for Two was an entertaining experience, employing amusement and talent in every scene.
Review submitted by Keagan Richard of Upper Merion Area High School
Have you ever had a bad day at your local DMV? Or have you ever had to break up a long-term friendship but were too scared of the messy aftermath? Well, The Baldwin School’s production of Table for Two certainly depicts the most absurd and hilarious outcomes for these everyday situations and more.
Compiled by The Baldwin School, Table for Two features a series of vignettes adapted from several short one-act comedies. While all the sketches center on the table, the amusing vignettes depict a variety of moments: an awkward blind date, an infuriating license renewal, a captivating and hectic audition, a formal and diplomatic break-up, as well as a ruthless shooting session for a political campaign television advertisement. What ensues is a series of laughs and twists leaving the audience asking for more.
With great developing energy and liveliness, the cast as a whole was able to effectively craft unique characterizations and successfully display their share of talent to produce a wonderful and entertaining show with many memorable moments.
Julie Brose gave an impressive and outstanding performance of Elizabeth in the vignette, “The Role of Della”. Her broad and versatile acting arsenal in conjunction with her raw energy allowed for her talent to shine through in an effortless switch between accents, languages, and interpretive movements in one of her character’s monologues.
Ruthless and dominant, Jattu Fahnbulleh’s Rodger was delightful to witness. Her commanding and assertive onstage presence kept the audience knowing who was in charge. Equally as impressive were Selina Wu and Sam Manogue’s performances as Hannah and Lindsey. Despite a couple discordant instances, their harmonious onstage relationship effectively gave the impression that they had been very close friends for several years. Several blocking decisions made it difficult to relay a couple performances, and a handful of instances felt drawn-out, but the performers did a nice job elevating the energy throughout the night.
The overall technical elements crafted an intimate and enjoyable experience for the audience. Swift and polished, the quick scene changes under Lucy Bonin’s management allowed for near seamless transitions between each of the stories. Ellie Delaney’s basic sets effectively reflected the various environments each vignette required. Integral lighting by Estella Stein shaped the atmosphere of the distinct settings, successfully placing the audience in the restaurant, DMV, and audition room with the characters on stage.
With impressive, energetic performances, and well-executed tech, Baldwin School’s production of Table for Two was entertaining, lively, and hysterical which is nothing short of what you would expect to find at the dinner table during the upcoming holidays.