Holiday Memories Whets the Appetite for the Holiday Season.

"Holiday Memories" is a visiting production that opened at the Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave. (at El Centro) in South Pasadena on December 1st and will run thru December 18th Thursday thru Saturday evenings at 7pm with Sunday matinees at 3pm.

Dutch Marich(Man) and Jim Carthcart(Buddy)

Having never been to the Fremont Centre Theatre I was first impressed by the pristine, quaint ambience of the intimate theatre.
 
The play is adapted by Russell Vandenbroucke from two of Truman Capote's Stories 'The Thanksgiving Visitor' which is the first Act and 'A Christmas Memory' which is the second act. It is directed by Sarah Zinsser and Produced by Catherine Telford and Wendy Radford. It is set in Monroeville Alabama during the early thirties of Truman Capote's boyhood.  We are given a sneak peak of his early life.

Catherine Teleford (Sook), Jim Carthcart(Buddy)and Gary Gardner(Truman)

The talent of the acting, the consistency of the directing, the all-around good writing and love of story won me out. The talent consisted five actors Gary Gardner who plays the narrator Truman, Jim Carthcart plays Truman as a young seven-year old boy, nicknamed Buddy by his sixty-some friend and distant relative Sook who is played by Catherine Teleford.  Gary Gardner plays the narrator Truman with energy and enthusiasm that kept my focus on the story.  Jim Cathcart manages to capture the essence of a seven year-old out of his element amongst adults and the longing for acceptance and approval.  Catherine Teleford as Sook led me to see all that she saw.  Through her face I could visualize the scene before me and be drawn in. 

These three actors carry the two one act plays being supported by two versatile actors, Emily Button who plays every other woman and Dutch Marich who plays every other man. They become a cast of many with the skill of a glance or the flip of chin.

Jim Carthcart(Buddy), Catherine Teleford (Sook),

The stained glass window was the one shining light of the set design giving an ethereal presence to an otherwise minimal set that fit the service of the play but was garishly camouflaged with paint that took focus away from the actors.  The lighting set the mood and lent itself well to the change of scenery.  I was mildly disappointed that it did not make good use of the scrim that was placed at center stage.  The costumes by Kristen Anacker set the right tone for the period of the early thirties.  Her choices were simply perfect for those moments when a single piece was all that was required to indicate a character. 

All around I enjoyed the show.  My only regret was that the play hadn't opened the weekend before Thanksgiving. Perhaps I would have taken greater care in preparing my turkey.  I was drawn to simpler times. When families gathered in crowds for Thanksgiving and fruitcake was a welcomed gift to make and receive at Christmas.

"Holiday Memories"
Location:  Fremont Center Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave.(At El Centro) South Pasadena
Dates:  December 1-18. Thurs-Sat. at 8, Sunday matinees at 3pm.
Admission: $20. Tickets at $15 available for SAG/AFTRA/Actors Equity members(mention code 007 when reserving)
Reservations: (323) 960-7612
Online Ticketing www.Plays411.com/holiday. Groups of ten or more: [email protected]

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