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Ennis Daily News

Public Theatre’s Neil Simon play an emotional experience

Rhoten directs I Ought to be in Pictures, new local production
The Ennis Public Theatre opened this past weekend to a full house of appreciative and dedicated fans. Among audience members were veterans of the stage from previous productions and diligent supporters who never miss opening night. The Neil Simon production, I Ought To Be in Pictures, was a replacement for the previously slated Fantastiks, however it was anything but a second choice performance.
Producer Bill Rhoten continues to work his magic by drawing out the best in the actors and actresses he casts in his productions.
George O’Conner plays the part of haggard and down-on-his-luck scriptwriter Herb Tucker, who moved to California, leaving behind a wife and two children. Much to his chagrin, his daughter Libby decides that whether he likes it or not, he’s about to have a family reunion as she arrives unexpectedly. O’Conner essays well the guilt ridden host who sets about trying to make up for lost time, trying to keep Libby at arm’s length yet relishing being a dad once again. Herb’s attempts at turning his life around are heartfelt but fall short, and his lack of self confidence provides some memorable moments.
O’Conner’s performance was convincing and audience members choked back tears toward the end of the play when his character finally sees the light.
Brittany Willis plays the larger-than-life Libby who is lost and looking for the father she never had.
Her character is full of hope, confidence and determination as she leaves her mark on California –– and her dad.
Libby pushes forward through awkward moments with her father.
Her spirit of unwavering optimism grows on her father and the two move toward the relationship Libby sought in the first place.
Playing the role of Steffy, and making a return to the local stage, is Delinda Ruffino.
Long suffering Steffy plays the role of Herb’s on again/off again girlfriend to whom he can’t seem to commit.
Her patience with him wears thin at times as she tries to win a place in his heart but she always comes through when he needs her most.
Without him ever saying it, the audience sees he relies on her and would be lost without her.
I Ought to be in Pictures runs on Friday and Saturday nights through May 10 with the show starting at 8 p.m.
There will be a special Mother’s Day performance on May 11 beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Ticket prices are $14 for adults and $12 for student and seniors 65 and older.
To purchase tickets or for more information on the production contact the theatre at 972-878-PLAY or www.ennispublictheatre.com.

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Posted by on Apr 22 2008. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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