BLACKFOOT– Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound" opened Friday at the Nuart. This production was co-directed by Philip and Megan Bucklein, who have always wanted to directed and their dream has now become a reality. Broadway Bound is about two brothers who are trying to bring their comedy writers to the radio and hopefully television. They are writing as a way to cope with their parents relationship falling apart and how their grandfather, who is a socialist whose humor helps the family cope.
The Bucklein's have done a fantastic job bringing together the cast and crew to make this production a success. The crew was made up of Jonathon Williams, Russ Cottam, Katie Bucklein, Kathy Bucklein, Eric Bucklein, Natalie Bucklein, Edward Cruz, Rachel Saline, Christel Evans, Mindy Cervantes, Laura Blad, and the ever loving support dog Rogue. there were numerous businesses who also helped make this production a success.
The stage was put together expertly. The different levels allowed the characters to work around each other without sacrificing the sight lines of the audience. The properties that were brought in (couch, table, any piece not nailed down) were relevant for the time period in which the play was set. It felt like the house of a middle class family in New York. The cast looked like they had a lot of fun working on the set.
The costuming was impressive. The characters were not placed in any drab, boring pieces, but they accentuated their performance. The clothing worked well for the characters personalities as well. Stanley is the older brother who has has his clothing perfectly put together. The younger brother Eugene is sweet and cares about everyone. The colors of his clothing were a little more vibrant and he wasn't as clean-cut as his brother. Ben's clothing was comfy and reminds one of a grandpa who wouldn't trade his comfort, but missed the earlier days of his life. Kate's clothing was mainly accoutered with an apron, which shows her motherliness and her willing to feed everyone. Her clothing got more vibrant in color, which could be tied in with her evolution over the play. Blanche, who is the sibling to Stanley and Eugene, is now well-to-do and her clothing shows it; wearing furs and a muff. Jack, who is Stanley and Eugene's father, is dressed in clothing that makes him look like he is consistently stressed. Everything is clean-cut, yet it feels like he would rather be out of them and into something more comfortable. They did a fantastic job putting it all together.
Those who were cast were very good in their rolls. Kate Jerome was played by Jeni Todd. Her facials during the entire production were impressive. She embraced her role and did a fantastic job. Ben Epstein was played by Kirk Lindholm, he was brought in last Saturday, when they lost one of the cast, and has been doing a pretty good job getting his lines memorized. Eugene Jerome was played by Christian Esplin. He did a great job being the focal character for the play and made the role his own. Stan Jerome was played by Jason Rowsell. He did a great job as the big brother and between him and Esplin, they acted like siblings. Blanche Morton was played by Susan Duff. Jack Jerome was played by Jonathan Williams.
It is highly recommended to go and see this production. It's autobiographical nature brings a heart-warming feel to the whole play. Everyone can see themselves in the family dynamics. If one would like to see this production it will continue at the newly remodeled Nuart Theater. It runs on two weekends in September: Saturday 14, Monday 16, Friday 20, Saturday 21, and Monday 23. Doors open at 7 and show begins at 7:30 P.M. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.