The Lake Park Perspective

The Student News Site of Lake Park High School

The Lake Park Perspective

The Lake Park Perspective

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Frankie Ponzio (center, LP ‘24,), Jack Colucci (back left, LP ‘27), Javarius Lane (back center, LP ‘26), and Brinly Wilson (back right, LP ‘24), perform in their One Act play,
Arts and Entertainment
Lots of student-directed laughs, one act at a time
Philip Sullivan, Senior Editor • April 12, 2024

    A ‘Suite’ Performance: Are you sure this is room 719?

    Ms. Kathy Weber (far right), with the cast of Plaza Suite, the final play directed by Ms. Weber at Lake Park.
    Ms. Kathy Weber (far right), with the cast of Plaza Suite, the final play directed by Ms. Weber at Lake Park.

    Lake Park Theatre has another delight under its belt. November’s play, playwright Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, closed to a roaring success on the back of Ms. Kathy Weber’s final production.
    We cover her more than twenty years of teaching and directing elsewhere in this paper, but her story was no small part of Plaza Suite’s; family, friends, and previous students all came out to see her blaze of glory.
    Most of this cast was composed of underclassmen, which promises a new set of stars in the coming years after our notables graduate.
    Also unique to Plaza Suite: there are two intermissions. You heard that right. They divide the play into three separate sections, each taking place in Suite 719 of New York’s Plaza Hotel. Three different couples reserve the room for different reasons: an anniversary, a hook-up, and a wedding. And though not everything ends up happy, the audience surely will be. Intense drama is juxtaposed with humor; despite each couple’s strained relationship, each act builds upon the positivity to get more joyous as it continues.
    Using the same single scene for every act was an interesting way to portray different stories that have more in common than originally thought. Three different couples using the same room sequentially gave new meaning to the power of minimalism and the ability to create different storylines from a static backdrop
    In the first scene, a long-married couple attempts to rekindle that early flame of marriage by taking a night off in the hotel from their honeymoon. But when people forget key details, work intrudes, and an affair comes to light, the romantic evening over Central Park takes a nosedive. It grows so unreconcilable that the husband walks out towards the affair with his secretary.
    The second scene gets dicey quickly. A former couple from high school reconnects and moves towards reconnecting in an even more physical way. Both want to do so, but it feels very similar to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” once alcohol gets involved.
    Either way, this former (and soon-to-be reunited) couple recounts their past apart and keep mentioning how each is disguisedly unhappy with their current lives.
    The third act gets the most attention from its comedic element, with suspense building until the surprise ending is revealed. As an old couple attempts to cure their daughter’s wedding-day fears, she locks herself in the bathroom and refuses to talk with anyone.
    After numerous attempts at bringing her out (including a dangerous window ledge walk from the father), the daughter’s fiancee saves the day with a simple “Cool it!”. The twist? She was scared of ending up like her own parents, a fear they only solidified with their crazy attempts at negotiating.
    What I found most interesting about Plaza Suite was its frantic energy. In every scene, characters were constantly pacing or standing up and sitting down. No one seemed sure what to do once trouble brewed, and characters in each scene turned around just before the door multiple times. It was as if the audience was supposed to feel on edge about the whole situation and was supposed to guess at just how bad the scenarios could get.
    A final neat touch: the play’s bellhop and waitress were the runners for each (minor) scene change during intermissions. I appreciated that small touch of authenticity that made the whole production feel more like a real hotel suite.
    Mrs. Weber’s final direction was a great one, one that reminds us how creative the theatre can get.

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    Philip Sullivan
    Philip Sullivan, Senior Editor
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