The Graduate is playing at the Roxy Regional Theatre. I went and saw it last Saturday night, here is my review of the performance.
Many of you have seen the movie which starred Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katherine Ross. Many more have heard the song Mrs Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel which is based on snippets of music which appeared in the movie.
The song was not completed for the film; only snippets are heard as incidental music. When the film and the music became popular, Paul Simon put the snippets together into a complete song which rose to the top of the charts in 1968 knocking The Beatles’ White Album off the number one spot.
The movie was adapted into a play in the year 2000. The play was critically acclaimed during it’s run both in London’s West End and on Broadway.
RJ Gossett plays Benjamin Braddock, he conveys the mental state, the detachment from a life of his character well. Ben has not yet learned to live his life for himself instead of living it for others. Something he learns from his experiences with Mrs Robinson.
Phillip Ocampo plays Benjamin’s father, his performance brought a sternness to Mr Braddock, and emphasizes the distance between the father and son. While Mr Braddock loves Ben, he tries to make Ben fit his image of his son instead of letting Ben find his own path in life. I enjoy watching Phillip in different roles as each time I see him, I see a new facet of his talent.
Julie Ross plays Mrs Braddock, and while she suffers from the same issues Mr Braddock has she brings into the play a sense of maternal love for her son and her hopes for his future. Julie is a rising star at the Roxy and I can’t wait to see her in the Buddy Holly story later this summer.
Jimmy Bishop played Mr Robinson, he is one of my favorite male stage actors. He brings humor to each character he plays without appearing to try. That being said he can handle the serious roles equally well. My first experience with him was in A year with Frog and Toad, a play I fell so in love with, that I bought the soundtrack.
Leslie Green plays Mrs Robinson, she retired after reprising the rule of Dorothy Dix in the play Dorothy Dix speaks again last season. She has some out of her Roxy retirement with a vengeance. I hope her appearance in this play is a sign of her return to the Roxy stage and not a one time return.
Jennifer Mintzer plays Elaine Robinson, a natural beauty, she keeps me entranced and enthralled whenever she enters a scene. Her personality and talent shines though, alone or in a crowd. I will miss her when she heads out after this production.
The clerk is a shared role played by Kevin Heiser, Jeron Bray, Joe Muller, or Ted Kitterman depending on the night you attend. In the show I attended the clerk blended into the scenery, so smoothly was the part played. Rather than being a distraction from the action, their presence seamlessly enhanced it.
I was not sure before attending a performance of this show, if I would like it or not. Now that I have seen it I can truthfully say I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you have not yet seen it by all means you should go, you will have a great time. Hurry though, as it only plays for the next two weeks with the final performance on July 8th.