New-Play Competition Winner Brightens the BLT Stage

A Review by Marvin and Michele Barg (for the Transylvania Times, Brevard.
Published Monday, May 28, 2007)

"A Marine Caught in Leotards," winner of Brevard Little Theatre’s 2006 New-Play
Competition, had its world premier here this past weekend, and the author,
Neville Mur, returned to his home in St. Louis smiling.  As well he might.  The
opening night performance of this frothy farce by the talented cast, under the
able direction of June and Bob Stacy, was all he could have hoped for.  And for
the audience in the nearly full house, this was an evening of light-hearted fun.

The play takes us back to the giddy days of Gorbachev and glasnost, as we look
into the lives of Alex Borodin and his wife, Diane.  Alex is an ad agency copy
writer and would-be author, and Diane runs a very successful aerobics studio.  
As they earnestly try to repair their somewhat shaky marriage, surprise visits by
an old Marine buddy, a Russian ballerina, an incompetent CIA agent, and the FBI
combine to create comic chaos.  The plot has many amusing twists and turns
before it reaches its surprise ending.

Daniel Clancy gives a polished performance as Alex Borodin.  Clancy’s timing
and delivery keep the play moving and engaging.  His old Marine buddy, Skip
Hogan, is played by Jason Mendez.  Mendez brings an innocent charm to this
impish character, and his imitation of a gung-ho Marine captain is hysterical.  
Together, Clancy and Mendez have an easy rapport that convinces the audience
that they are old friends.

Chris Yaxley, a familiar face to BLT theatre goers, gives a lively, convincing
performance as Diane Borodin, Alex’s attractive, uptight wife.  From the play’s
opening moment to its humorous end, Yaxley is Diane in all respects.  In addition
to vividly portraying her character’s shifting moods, Yaxley beautifully embodies
her physically as well.  She handles her many, and sometimes revealing,
costume changes with aplomb.

Allison Nicole Pressley makes her delightful acting debut as Natasha Popoff, a
Russian prima ballerina and Alex’s former flame.  Pressley’s charming accent
and stage presence create a most believable character.  No one would ever
guess that this is her first time on stage.

Doug Huth is cast in the role of F. Martin Branch, a rigid, aging CIA agent
desperately trying to make his mark before retiring.  Although this is only Huth’s
second theatre outing, he plays this buffoonish character with remarkable
panache.

The cast is rounded out with the wonderful performance of BLT veteran Joe
Narsavage as Brett Dexter, a New York actor and Miami Vice wannabe, hired for
a commercial being directed by Skip Hogan.  As always, Narsavage is very
effective in bringing his character to life, and his impersonation of an FBI agent is
both clever and hilarious.

The effective stage design by Mark Henry provides the audience wonderful
visual access to all the of the cleverly choreographed action.  Patrick Dasheill’s
light design augments the changing moods of the play.  Directors Bob and June
Stacy have done an excellent job of casting and of coaching the six-member cast
to a seamless production.

"A Marine Caught in Leotards" is being performed in the Morrison Playhouse of
the Paul Porter Center on the Brevard College Campus.  Remaining
performances are at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2, and at
3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 3.  Due to adult themes, situations, and language,
this play is recommended for mature audiences only.  For reservations call 884-
2587, or visit the BLT ticket sales office, located behind the Transylvania
Community Arts Center, 321 South Caldwell Street.  The ticket office is open on
Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Photo published with this review.
Doug Huth, Joe Narsavage, Jason Mendez, Allison Pressley, Dan Clancy, Chris Yaxley