Great reviews for "Bad Seed" at Wheaton Drama
Wheaton Drama's third show of the season, Bad Seed, opened January 27 at Playhouse 111 to positive audience and critical response.
Audience members who expressed that they were initially hesitant about seeing the show due to its title were won over by the excellent performances in this classic thriller.
Denny Jamieson said, "I came to see a show that I did not like from having seen the movie and was so pleasantly surprised I can now say that I do like the show because of how it was presented."
Fans of the screen version of the story of "perfect" little Rhoda Penmark have not been disappointed with Wheaton Drama's staging. Gary Patterson, who attended the show opening night, said that he and his wife were "thoroughly entertained" and "This show deserves an audience! Get there!"
Audiences who have concerns about stage blood or violence have no need to worry. Bad Seed follows the social mores of the 1950s, balancing Hitchcock-style psychological suspense with moments of humor and the charm of an apparently perfect American family.
The appearance of perfection is a vital element in the show and the Bad Seed technical aspects uphold that vision. Wheaton Drama patrons have favorably noted the lovely set and costumes and effective use of music and lighting in the play.
Director Jeni Dees of South Elgin is pleased with what she sees happening each performance. "It is so rewarding to see the show you envisioned come to life. I am proud of the hard work and dedication my cast put into this piece. They were dedicated to their craft and the quality of what they wanted to put on stage, and it shows night after night."
With Bad Seed, seeing the audience reaction can be as much fun as watching the action on stage. "Hearing the little gasps and comments from the audience as the plot plays out is great to watch", Dees says. "The reaction gives all of the people involved with the show such a charge."
Although the play excels at delivering a delightfully creepy tale, Dees notes "Audiences leave the show smiling after getting wrapped up in the story and the characters. It is fun to spend time away from real-life worries."
Reviewer Joe Stead of steadstylechicago.com observed that Dees "...keeps her actors thoroughly grounded in honesty and period accuracy. The play succeeds in creating a slightly off balance and creepy end desire." He praised the cast, especially Hannah Klose as Rhoda and Amy Royle as Christine Penmark, concluding, "...this is a good production".
The Bad Seed cast is: Anthony Berg (Addison) as Emory Wages; Marea Berkley Clement (Aurora) as Mrs. Daigle; Pat Daly (Naperville) as Mr. Daigle; Cesar Gonzales (Glendale Heights) as Kenneth Penmark; Rod Kelly (Lombard) as Reginald Tasker; Hannah Klose (Naperville) as Rhoda Penmark; Kristin K. Morris (Chicago) as Monica Breedlove; Jennifer Myers (Glen Ellyn) as Miss Fern; Amy Royle (Downers Grove) as Christine Penmark; Jack Smith (Bloomingdale) as Leroy; Jim Van de Velde (Villa Park) as Richard Bravo.
Ben Aylesworth (Bolingbrook) is the production manager and master carpenter. Bruce Ebner (Batavia) is the stage manager, and Amy Johnson (Lombard) is the assistant stage manager. Jo-Ann Ledger (Bolingbrook) is the assistant director.
Additional production staff include: Tracy L. Adams and Sindy Bower (properties); Dave Amato (sound design); Ken Beach (production photography); Traci A. Cidlik (graphic design); Jeni Dees (hair and make-up); Mary Engle and Berni Raymond (set decoration); Craig Gustafson (Starboard design); Susan Hajny (costume design); Melissa Heischberg (website); Jo-Ann Ledger (publicity); Steven Merkel (publicity photography); Rebecca Poole (tickets); Kate Quan (programme); Steve Schroeder (front of house); Jim Van de Velde (lighting design).
Bad Seed plays Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm through February 19. Tickets are $13 for Thursdays and $16 Fridays-Sundays. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.wheatondrama.org, or by calling 630-260-1820.
Bad Seed is adapted by Maxwell Anderson from the novel by William March. The show is licensed by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Wheaton Drama’s current season also includes Black Comedy (3/23-4/15) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (5/25-6/17).
Wheaton Drama’s productions are staged at Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale Street in downtown Wheaton. For show tickets and information, please visit http://www.wheatondrama.org, or call 630-260-1820.