Jim Stark, an actor, director and professor, provided this review at the request of the South Carolina Repertory Company.
The South Carolina Repertory Company recently opened its production of "Oh, Coward!" This comedic musical revue is composed of material by one of the brightest talents of the 20th century, Sir Noel Coward. Coward's witty songs and comic sketches, collected by Roderick Cook, make this warm and funny musical revue an engaging, cheerful evening of entertainment. With this production, the theater continues to pursue its mission of offering Lowcountry audiences plays not often available locally.
This production features the voices of Blake McCorvey, Jeffrey Watkins and Peggy Trecker White, three accomplished performers whose singing and dancing are supported by accompanist Adam Rich.
The directorial team includes names well known to Hilton Head Island audiences, especially vocal director Tim Reynolds of the Hilton Head Island Choral Society. The actors deliver Coward's delightful tunes and lyrics with a range of expression and power that will linger in the memory of any theatergoer. This performance makes the most of South Carolina Repertory Company's intimate venue, bringing the actors close enough that the audience can catch every gleam in their eyes.
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The show has a lively pace and features several familiar songs. Patrons might find themselves thinking "Oh, that's where that tune comes from! I didn't know Coward wrote that!" The show also emphasizes the warmer side of Coward's sharp wit, maintaining a friendly spirit throughout. The theater's design team has set the production in a cozy backstage environment that welcomes the audience as part of the theatrical family.
Jim Stark is a member of Actor's Equity and professor of theater at Hanover College in Indiana.