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Sun On A Gulf Motel Review

By Serita Stevens

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The Stella Adler Theatre recently opened the premiere of Stinson Carter's first play, Sun On A Gulf Motel. Directed by John Cady and co-produced by Hank Grover, it features Phillipe Chang, Paul Buxton, Blaire Chandler, and T.M. Rawlins. 

Jimmy (Phillipe Chang)confronts Momma (Blaire Chandler) while a horrified Anna (T.M Rawlins) looks on

Sun On A Gulf Motel is about a dysfunctional Southern family, reminiscent of characters in one of William Faulkner's tales. It deals with the lies we tell each other, the lies we tell ourselves, and the things we have kept secret from each other.  In a sleepy resort hotel former high school football star Jimmy must come to terms with his past. 

Now a struggling salesman, he is confronted by events from years before as his past is exposed to his wife and high school sweetheart Anna (T.M Rawlins).  Traveling with Jimmy's parents on this family vacation, it is not a vacation for Anna who is uncomfortable with her overexuberant in-laws and the biting side comments that only a Southern mother-in-law (Blaire Chandler) can make all the while pretending everything is wonderful.


The "happy" family - Daddy (Paul Buxton), Momma, Jimmy and Anna

The sudden death of Daddy (Paul Buxton) blows open any pretense they could try to maintain.  Emotions run rampant as each party reveals personal secrets long hidden as they figure out how to come to terms with the future and let go of the past.  Biting dialogue and a fast pace kept the play moving forward.

The acting was great, though the blocking was a bit stilted.  Buxton has had three Emmy nominations and has been seen on the daytime drama Passions; Mama Chandler has appeared in numerous plays and won a number of acting awards both in Los Angeles and Cincinatti. Chang has been seen in a variety of Stella Adler plays as well as Shakespearian theatre and for TM Rawlins this is her first solitary role while continuing her studies at the Conservatory.

The play makes one think about who and what you are, what you wanted and what you have received in your life.

The play runs through May 27, 2007 at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.  Tickets cost $10.

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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