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As Long as We Remember...

May 19, 2010

A Review – Funny “Planet Claire”

Roy Meachum

There may be a plot to the Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s “Planet Claire.” Because of the laughter, approving applause and whole lot of dancing going on, I never found it.


In any event, weekend evenings and Saturday matinees in the depth of the old Francis Scott Key Hotel, the script devised by playwright Tad Janes hardly matters. Director Janes’ production goes with the flow; seizing on all sorts of theatrical devices to move right along. I sat next to a young lady poised to give her hearty approval to whatever happened. At one point I saw her catching herself from jumping up. It’s that kind of a show, folks.


The director gave full reign to Choreographer Julie Herber and it pays off – handsomely. Frequently, the cast threatens bedlam but Ms. Herber maintained control, by having every actor/player perform in synch with songs from the B-52s. The words can become wicked, the rock melodies throb and pulse.


This may be not the show to bring your arthritic grandfather; the temptation may be too great for him to sit still; nobody else does. Around me, I saw heads dip and noodle to the rocking beat.


Amy Baughman recreates the role she created as Claire, opposite the suave and enchanting Clay Comer. The other on-stage appearances are invested in a cast that has pages of investment in the theatrical world: Matt Baughman, Will Emory, Gené Fouché, Brandon Gray, Ashley Hall, Matt Lee, Erica Loy, Rona Mensah, Karen Paone, April Reese, August Reese and Choreographer Julie Herber, who is there every performance dancing her routines and keeping a sharp eye on everyone else’s heel and toe.


Whole lot of shaking will make Patrick Street quake until July 3. Don’t get lost. Opening weekend was sold-out. Another MET hit!!!!


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