Kelsey Theater shows community theatre can rise

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Amadeus at Kelsey Theatreshow review.

The production of Amadeus at Mercer County College’s Kelsey Theatre by the Pinn Worth Theatre Company demonstrates the excellence to which community theatre can rise. Once again, we see it is not necessary to go to Broadway to see professional production values and real talent. Amadeus, a tragedy though with comic moments, is carried primarily by the skills of two actors; John Shanken-Kaye as Antonio Salieri, Mozart’s evil nemesis and Matty Daley in the title role of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Shanken-Kaye skillfully alternates between a guilt-ridden Salieri in old age and Salieri in his thirties during Mozart’s lifetime. His agonized war with God over why he was given less talent than Mozart produced a form of insanity he convincingly presented.

Matty Daley as Amadeus

Matty Daley as Amadeus

Matty Daley as the uninhibited, sometimes foul-mouthed and always exuberant character historians tell us Mozart really was, hit the stage like an explosion of fireworks. Daley manages to incorporate sensuality, athleticism, enthusiasm and always-perfect timing in this demanding role. Through the course of this production Matty Daley took us from a Mozart who glowed with the enthusiasm of youth and supernatural abundance of talent to his tragic end, penniless, alone and desperately ill, believing himself a failure. At each stage of this progression, Daley had the audience gripped by the emotions he conveyed.

Supporting the two leads was a superb cast including Ashley Stuart as Constance. Ms. Stuart, Mozart’s true love and long suffering wife, was absolutely brilliant in her role as the woman who loved but never understood her genius husband. Elizabeth Rzasa as Katherina Cavalieri left us wishing that her role could have permitted us to enjoy even more of her magnificent operatic talent.

Amadeus cast  from left, Frank Ferrarar, Sean McGrath, Matty Daley and Russ Weiss

Amadeus cast from left, Frank Ferrarar, Sean McGrath, Matty Daley and Russ Weiss

Other cast members included Sean McGrath as the well intentioned but dim-witted emperor Joseph II. Russ Weiss, Chris Arena and Frank Ferrara played the pompous court functionaries who were obstacles to Mozart’s career and perfectly embodied the attitude of backward-looking, stuffed-shirt bureaucrats. Walt Rosenfeld and Rob Gougher played the gossips, Venticelli 1 and 2 to perfection.

Performed on a minimalist stage with scene changes indicated only by changes of furniture, the real production values were with the fabulous costumes far exceeding any reasonable expectation for a community theatre. The costumes designed by Kate Pinner and created by her team especially for this production and custom-tailored to each performer perfectly displayed the sumptuous styles of an 18th Century imperial court. We will eagerly await future productions at Kelsey Theatre.

www.kelseytheatre.net

Amadeus at Kelsey Theatreshow review.

The production of Amadeus at Mercer County College’s Kelsey Theatre by the Pinn Worth Theatre Company demonstrates the excellence to which community theatre can rise. Once again, we see it is not necessary to go to Broadway to see professional production values and real talent. Amadeus, a tragedy though with comic moments, is carried primarily by the skills of two actors; John Shanken-Kaye as Antonio Salieri, Mozart’s evil nemesis and Matty Daley in the title role of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Shanken-Kaye skillfully alternates between a guilt-ridden Salieri in old age and Salieri in his thirties during Mozart’s lifetime. His agonized war with God over why he was given less talent than Mozart produced a form of insanity he convincingly presented.