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By Kathy Carpenter

Associate Reviewer www,


March 24, 2017 (La Mesa) - The Dresser is riveting, with powerful acting, giving the audience a knock-out performance.  This play within a play focuses on a group of thespians performing and trying to keep their troop going in the midst of World War II air raids.

The setting is January 1942 at a theatre in  an English province. The thespians are in a Shakespeare troop. On this night they perform King Lear. However, during the day, the old timer who leads the company has a breakdown of sorts. The dresser is the one who pulls him through his rough moments in time to perform.

Richard Rivera takes on the colossal role of the dresser, weaving his magic effectively. Even more impressive was O.P. Hadlock as Sir, the grand old actor. He was phenomenal, going from the weak and sickly, transforming before us into the mighty King Lear. Sandy Hotchkiss, played her ladyship, held her own amongst the powerful performances of the two men.  Connie Terwilliger made a strong and stoic Madge, but I'm not quite sure I believed she was in love with Sir. Anthony Hamm, who also a strong performance. George Bailey is always a wonder. Cecily Keppel, and Geoffrey Thornton rounded out the cast nicely.

The set is divided in two, with a dressing room for Sir where the dresser works his magic and a second area outside the dressing room.  This is a painless way to get in your Shakespeare experience. Director Steve Murdock brings us a show worth watching.

Lamplighters Theatre La Mesa

5915 Severin Drive

Coming next on July 7- 30, Lamplighters will present Women in Jeopardy.