Hide and Seek
At Seaside Theater, Saturday, April 15.
Reviewed by Alexis Bird
Seaside Theatre, a welcome presence in Carpinteria’s cultural
life for a number of years, is currently adding suspense to the
community by way of Lezley Havard’s three-act mystery Hide and
Seek. The production, directed by Penni Louise, opened April
7th in the cozy and charming Theatre Molley Barbey.
The play focuses on the collision between real and supernatural
forces set in motion when a young couple expecting their first
child encounters inexplicable problems as they try to refurbish an
old farmhouse. Lights fail, the plumbing malfunctions, an odd
neighbor provides a disconcerting housewarming gift in the form of
a prayer book for the burial of the dead, and the pregnant wife
claims to see a young girl swinging silently in the yard.
The cast includes a number of actors familiar to Carpinteria
audiences, as well as several who are making debuts. Seaside
Theatre veterans Rani Apodaca and Philip Moreno play the young
couple, Jennifer and Richard Crawford, and they turn in commendable
performances, as does debutante Deborah Cristobal, who plays Vicki
Bennett, the couple’s future sister-in-law. Michele Porter, as the
frail, anxious neighbor Elly Bart, is a standout. She brought her
character to life and provided needed energy to the production,
which lags at times in the vitality necessary to maintaining real
suspense. Paul Sant’s rousing portrayal of Richard’s brother Tony
Crawford was also useful in this regard. Rounding out the cast were
Corey Mikael Zetterberg as the young contractor, Ericka Lopez as
the cleaning lady, and Dennis Lyons as the farmer. Special mention
should go to the youngest cast member, Mallory Koenig, who played
the Jacky/Jill role with honesty and conviction.
The sets and costumes designed by Asa Olsson were highly
effective and a major plus for the production. Olsson’s yeoman
effort extended to sound and light duties which she shared with