Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 10 June 2013 20:19

The second time around

Written by Bob Wilcox
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

The Details

John Pierson (George) and Katy Tibbets (Jennie)
John Pierson (George) and Katy Tibbets (Jennie) insighttheatrecompany.com / John Lamb

Playwright Neal Simon is very generous in his play "Chapter Two".

It's about a writer whose much-loved wife has recently died, and he's in deep mourning. His brother and other friends try to fix him up with women they think he would like. No dice.

Then he meets Jennie Malone. She's an actress. They bounce off one another delightedly when they talk. The courtship is glorious. The honeymoon is a disaster.

Because Simon himself had been through a similar experience, losing a wife, marrying the actress Marsha Mason, we assume that the play is more or less autobiographical, and so far as I know, no one is denying it.

I say Simon is generous because in the play, George, the writer, the character much like Simon, is the one who makes the honeymoon miserable. He keeps comparing it to his first honeymoon. That's not a nice thing to do. He can't help himself. He's still hurting, despite his joy in finding Jennie.

But Jennie gets the good lines. She's been through a divorce, though she doesn't miss the guy. But she's known marital failure. She's not going to fail this time. She responds magnificently to George's unhappiness. Simon makes her the one you admire. You don't quite dislike George, you feel sorry for him, but hey, that's no way to treat a lady.

In Insight Theatre Company's current production of Chapter Two, Katy Tibbets doubles the admiration for Jennie that Simon puts in his script. She's charming, strong, clever, smart. And doing Neal Simon, it helps that Tibbets has a fine sense of timing, both comic and serious. She lets us feel and think with Jennie.

John Pierson lets us feel and think with George. And he keeps us from disliking George. Pierson doesn't have as much to work with as Tibbets does. George either hurts or stops hurting. But that's enough, with Tibbets, to construct an absorbing relationship.

Simon also throws in George's brother Leo and Jennie's friend Faye. They come from the Neal Simon comedy shop, which, as minor characters, is fine, though the scene of their attempted adultery gets a little tedious, despite the good work of Jerry Russo and Jenni Ryan.

Mark Wilson's set splits the Heagney Theater stage in two. George's half has the book-filled, dark-toned, prosperous look of a successful writer. Jennie's half is lighter and sparser. Wilson's lights guide us to the scenes in each and reinforce the emotional tone, too. The costumes by Emily Gaither and sound design by Dave Hinson, like the rotary dial telephones, come right out of the play's 1977 era. And director Susie Wall, with long experience of this kind of theatre, unobtrusively guides the whole successful production.

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 13736 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook