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Theatre Talk: 'The Outsider' is a good laugh

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

Nestled in the hillside amongst the structures of Alliant International University, Scripps Ranch Theatre company opened their new season with the political satire "The Outsider."

Cleverly directed by Christopher Williams, nary a pun nor double entendre is overlooked. The well-chosen cast brought life to playwright Paul Slade Smith's biting commentary "skewering politics" and politicians.

But let's not forget the minions behind the perfectly dressed set design by Alyssa Kane and her scenic assistant Daniel Long, with Nathan Waits' talent with hammer 'n' nails, this trio pulls together an authentic-looking governor's office.

Costume selections are on the mark thanks to Pam Stompoly-Ericson; the sound is perfectly balanced by Ted Leib, and the lighting designer, Jared Jacobs, knows what it's about. Never sure what a production manager does, Ruth Russell must have done her job along with DJ Maloney and Taran Haynes dutifully assisted with stage management, 'cause everything came together.

The newly appointed governor, Ned Newley (Robert May), along with his Chief of Staff, Dave Riley (Adam Daniel); his newly hired pollster Paige Caldwell (Deborah Dodaro), with his political consultant Arthur Vance (John Nutten), and Executive Assistant temp Louise Peakes (Michelle Marie Trester), bumble through the early hours in their new jobs.

Adding confusion, TV reporter Rachel Parsons (Leigh Akin) and her trusty cameraman A. C. Peterson (Walter Murray) are invited to interview the new governor to squelch the scandal around the former governor's dismissal.

All members of the cast play their roles to perfection. The former Lt. Governor Newly is indeed bumbley and humble. His Chief of Staff is naïve yet capable, pollster Paige is efficient and sharp, while Vance is slick and just shy of slimy; he is as a CNN political commentator is. Even TV reporter Rachel Parsons along with trusty cameraman A.C., are all they should be.

And then there is Miss Peakes. It is hard to ignore Michelle Marie Trester. Quirky, charismatic, and funny as all get out, Trester's performance is a hoot. How her co-stars can utter a line in her presence just proves their professionalism.

What a delightful performance by a truly professional troupe of players. Well done all.

"The Outsider" plays until Oct. 9 at the Legler Benbough Theatre on Alliant International University campus next to Able Hall. The address is 9783 Avenue of Nations. Take exit 14 (Miramar Pomerado) off the I-15 south and turn right on to Avenue of Nations then wiggle your way up the hill. There is a small parking lot after two speed bumps on the left, and for handicap follow the lane through the gate.

For a lot of good hearty belly laughs, throw your entire family into the car to see "The Outsider." For tickets, call 858-395-0573 or visit Rated a hilarious 10 out of 10.


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