Courtroom Drama Opens BLT's New Season

by William D. Mashburn, Reviewer
(published on the Entertainment Page of the Transylvania Times,
Monday, November 5, 2007)


Brevard Little Theater opened its new season with an emotion-packed courtroom drama,
Night of January 16th, playing this next weekend in the Main Courtroom of the historic
Transylvania County Courthouse.  Certainly the set for the play couldn't be more authentic,
thanks to the generosity of the Transylvania County Commissioners.  

The thriller, by noted author Ayn Rand, is ably directed and produced by Liz Peryam.  The
well-chosen cast includes many veteran actors as well as some newcomers.  The main
strength of this production is the outstanding development of the characters.  

The plot involves a wheeler-dealer named Bjorn Faulkner, whose shady dealings have
lead him to financial ruin, and ultimately to either suicide, murder and/or disappearance,
despite the infusion of money from his father-in-law, a wealthy banker named John Graham
Whitfield.  His longtime secretary/mistress, Karen Andre, is accused of murder.  All the
action takes place in the courtroom where her trial is underway.  The jury, selected from
the audience, has to decide whether Andre is guilty or innocent.  The ending of the play
depends on the verdict, which is not known in advance.

As for the cast, certainly Bob Baldridge stands out for his brilliant characterization of the sly
and crafty defense attorney Stevens.  Likewise, his counterpart, district attorney Flint, was
ably played by Gregory Dickens.  Ed Daigle was impressive as Judge Heath, even if
intimidating to the jurors; Brittany Curtis was convincing as the wife of Bjorn Faulkner, and
daughter of banker John Graham Whitfield; and Chris Yaxley was outstanding in the role of
Karen Andre.  Sandie Kay, as the meek Mrs John Hutchins, definitely generated a lot of
sympathy from the audience; Frank Batchelor was in fine form as Dr. Kirkland, and Dan
Clancy, with his New York accent, was especially good as the private investigator, Homer
Van Fleet.  

Ann Munch was particularly assertive as the Swedish housekeeper, Magda Svenson; and
Joel Munch was very funny as the gangster, Larry Regan.  Seeing his 1930s “gansta” suit
is alone worth the price of admission.  Jim Keeley was very animated and agile as Sigurd
Jungquist, Bjorn Faulkner's former bookkeeper; and Lynne Warner was a riot as Roberta
Van Rensselaer.

Joe Carvajal gave an exceptional performance as John Graham Whitfield, the banker and
Bjorn Faulkner's father-in-law.

Completing the very fine cast were Jayson Clark as policeman Elmer Sweeney, Allison
Nicole Pressley as Jane Chandler, Elaine Pressley as the prison matron, Jim Robinson as
the bailiff, Loran Smith as clerk of court, and Marvin Barg and Gary Nye, who looked like
an undercover detective for the narcotics division, portraying law enforcement officers.

Seeing this play was a special treat and a very unusual experience.  You'll really be
fascinated by all the twists and turns in this drama, as compelling as any real-life courtroom
drama.

For ticket information and reservations, call 828 884-2587.  Tickets may also be purchased
at the TCARTS box office on South Caldwell Street.  All performances are in the Main
Courtroom of the Transylvania County Courthouse, which you will need to enter through
the new East side entrance.  You may take an elevator to the top floor.
Photo submitted with this article, for publication in the Transylvania Times.
Ed Daigle and Brittany Curtis are among the principal actors in
Brevard Little Theatre's courtroom drama.
Scan of Published Article