The fun the cast of "Bend, Tear, and Spindle" had in staging its performance was contagious as their obvious joy spread throughout Wilks Theatre on opening night.
"Bend, Tear, and Spindle" is a light-hearted play set in the 1970s about an older couple who agree to take in a foster child and, through a problem with the agency's computer system, end up with seven more children than they bargained for.
The show was a charming diversion from Stage Left's typical productions. The organization is known for its well-produced shows with adult subject matter, which director Cami Kowalski acknowledges.
Though the show's plot was simple and its comedy seemed a little childish, it was clear that the audience enjoyed it. There is no doubt that "Bend, Tear, and Spindle" is an entertaining show already, and it was made even more amusing as the audience watched fully grown college students pretend to be foster children.
CJ Wing was especially funny playing Dusty Porter, as he rushed around the set and draped himself over the furniture.The cast's campy, physical comedy ensured a delightful time for the audience, and performers and audience were matched in enthusiasm.
The cast was adept in putting their own unique spin on the material. Gina Moravec (Jane Doe) and Hayden Verdin (Walter Sheele) were heartwarming in their one-on-one scenes and Micki Smolenski (Aunt Addie) was a joy to watch as she bounded across the stage singing the praises of numerology. Mackenzie Mettey and Anna Page were excellent playing the talented Laker twins as they spoke their lines in creepy unison.
The apparent familiarity between the actors made it clear they had bonded over many rehearsals, which added to their performance as one very large family.
The crew also added its own subtle and endearing stamp on the production. The costuming was winsome with its turtlenecks, overalls and suede, which helped fix the play in the 70s, along with the amusing pop culture references. Sound equipment occasionally hindered the performance of the actors, but all recovered well.
The audience had come to spend an evening laughing, and Stage Left's performance of "Bend, Tear, and Spindle" definitely delivered.