Play review: Good-Night Caroline

I was escorted to the back parlor to await the first of three plays. I was back in the Benjamin Harrison house, the first time since attending the fall play performed by Candlelight Theatre.

Like last spring’s theater production, the night promised to be an enjoyable evening of intimate theater in a special venue.

The evening consisted of three plays—one written by resident playwright James Trofatter—Night Nurse Madeline, Suppressed Desires, Good-Night Caroline. Each play was performed in a different room of the house with the audience moving between rooms after each performance. The audience was seated literally a few feet (and in some cases inches) from the actors.

The plays, all set in the early 1900s, fit in well in the ambience created by the 1875 house. Reference to Indianapolis—for those in the know—sprinkled Trofatter’s play, such as the repeated reference to the Columbia Club (a long-time private club for the elite located on the circle—which you can visit as part of a walking tour conducted by the Indiana Landmark Center).

The acting was superb, especially given that I expected a few opening night missteps. There were none. I was delighted to recognize several actors from earlier productions. Ken Eder was a complete ham in Night Nurse Madeline. Sue Beecher and Heather Wing were perfect in their roles in Suppressed Desires. And Donna Wing brought the audience into Good-Night Caroline, mentioning the audience directly—and eliciting laughter. All of the other actors, too many to list, were also outstanding.

If you are a play enthusiast and are in the Indianapolis area, I encourage you to attend Good-Night Caroline. (In fact, a couple sitting next to me were in town for the weekend from Michigan.) The production runs a couple more weekends: April 18, April 24-26, and May 1-2.

I’m already looking forward to the production Hoosier Haunts in October.

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