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THEATRE/Little Theatre’s 'Nude with Violin' a Sophisticated Crowd Pleaser

Kirsten Obadal
By Kirsten Obadal
Posted on Sep 15,2010
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,

Photo by Shane Canfield <br /> <br />John Barclay Burns (Sebastien) and Gary Cramer (Clinton Preminger Junior)
Photo by Shane Canfield
John Barclay Burns (Sebastien) and Gary Cramer (Clinton Preminger Junior)

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - It is 1954 in Paris, and noted artist Paul Sorodin has just passed away.  
The primly black-clad family members gather and begin to discuss the estate.  The deceased’s estranged wife is Gayle Nichols-Grimes; other family members include Elizabeth Keith, Rick Andersen, and Elizabeth Heir.  

Photo by Shane Canfield <br /> <br />Gary Cramer (Clinton Preminger Junior), John Barclay Burns (Sebastien), and Michael Fisher (Jacob Friedland)
Photo by Shane Canfield
Gary Cramer (Clinton Preminger Junior), John
Barclay Burns (Sebastien), and Michael Fisher
(Jacob Friedland)

Their formality and propriety are contrasted effectively with the colorful bohemian personalities who begin to arrive while the family tries to discuss financial matters.  
Michael Fisher, who plays Sorodin’s art dealer, is on hand with a comically uptight and somewhat neurotic twist in the mix.  
Gary Cramer nimbly plays a gullible and star-struck reporter for LIFE Magazine and gets the action going as he imposes himself in the family’s private affairs.
Soon, plans go awry as the artist’s colorful past begins to emerge.  
Sebastian, the deceased artist’s valet—played with just the right touch by John Barclay Burns---manages the situation with aplomb.  
Burns is making his third appearance at the LTA.  He has acted in Pack of Lies (2005) and A Christmas Carol (2007).  His bio includes other productions and experience as a dialect coach—coming in handy as his character speaks several languages.  He truly grounds the action and carries the plot in a most capable manner, to the delight of theatergoers.
People from the artist’s past each make a claim on the estate.  

Photo by Shane Canfield <br /> <br />Michael Fisher (Jacob Friedland)
Photo by Shane Canfield
Michael Fisher (Jacob Friedland)

Without giving away too much plot, each character is more flamboyant and riotous than the last.  They are as follows:  Megan Murphy as a convincing Russian princess; Diane Linton Sams as a southern belle; and DeJeannette Horn as a fundamentalist Christian from a Jamaican baptismal sect.
It needs mentioning that the set was so breathtaking, applause broke out when the curtain rose.  The set design was by Howard Vincent Kurtz, with construction led by Chris Feldmann.  It depicts a stylish Parisian salon appropriate for the year 1954.  Costumes were beautifully tailored and well selected by Chris Macey, and wardrobe led by Jamie Blake.
Theatre lovers will of course recognize the playwright, Noel Coward.  The director of this production was Howard Vincent Kurtz.  
This theatre critic has seen many LTA productions as a reviewer, and highly recommends "Nude with Violin" as among the best of LTA’s offerings in the last couple of years.
Nude with Violin
A Comedy by Noel Coward
Directed by Howard Kurtz
Little Theatre of Alexandria
600 Wolfe St., Alexandria, VA 22314
September 4 – 25, 2010
Wednesday – Saturday @ 8pm; Sunday @ 3pm

Michael Fisher (Jacob Friedland) and Elizabeth Heir (Pamela)<br /> <br />Photo by Shane Canfield
Michael Fisher (Jacob Friedland) and Elizabeth
Heir (Pamela)
Photo by Shane Canfield

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