By Dasha Morgan
Once again the production of another Jeeves play delights the audience in downtown Asheville. Laughter abounds and the scenes unwind for a delightful evening of comedy. The small off-Broadway professional equity theater has had to hold over their Jeeves Saves the Day to accommodate demand and allow for more people to attend. The inimitable actor, Scott Treadway as Bertie Wooster, once again needs to solicit the help of his long time valet/butler Jeeves (played by Peter Thomasson) to get him out of one predicament after another. The cast once again puts on an incredible lively, fun performance with hilarious antics, facial expressions, and comedic moments.
These plays brought to Asheville by N.C. Stage are the adaptations by Margaret Raether of P.G. Wodehouse’s stories, one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century. A prolific English-born writer of books, short stories, novels, film scripts and lyricist, Wodehouse is best known as the creator of Jeeves, the supreme “gentleman’s gentleman.” Margaret Raether, the playwright, at the request of Charlie Flynn-McIver and a couple of other theaters decided to go forward with another Jeeves play based on a Wodehouse story. Thus, this production became a world premiere of Jeeves Saves The Day here in Asheville, simultaneously with First Folio Theatre in Oak Brook, Illinois. Since 2016 the company has produced many of these farces, all starring these gifted actors and actresses. Charlie Flynn-McIver, the artistic director, and his wife, Angie Flynn- McIver, the producer, have produced Jeeves Intervenes, Jeeves in Bloom, Jeeves Takes a Bow and Jeeves at Sea, and now Jeeves Saves the Day.
The intimate stage in downtown Asheville allows for only a total of 125 seats arranged in a semi-circle facing the slightly raised stage. Many of the entrances and exits by the performers are very near the aisles as they get on and off the stage.
This means that those in the audience are always close to the stage and a part of the performance.
Over the years the company has brought some incredible plays to the stage. They have performed classics like The Dolls House, Macbeth
Driving Miss Daisy and Hamlet. They put on some meaningful and thought provoking plays. Silent Sky told the story of the Henrietta Leavitt, a woman who wanted nothing but to be allowed to work in the field of her choice, astronomy, at a time in the early 1900s when women weren’t allowed to touch a telescope, let alone take credit for an awesome discovery. Over the holiday season, they have brought All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 to the stage. DAR HE was the story of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States. They state as their mission “North Carolina Stage Company is dedicated to connecting people to plays that illuminate the shared human experience. Our commitment to artistic excellence, integrity, and exploration are at the heart of our mainstage performances, educational opportunities, and community engagement programming.” Indeed they are fulfilling this mission every season.
NC Stage has been twice recognized for artistic excellence by both the prestigious American Theatre Wing and the North Carolina Theatre Conference George A. Parides Award. The company was also voted best local theatre for 11 out of the past 13 years in the Mountain Xpress Best of WNC Poll. NC Stage has hosted three world premieres prior to Jeeves Saves the Day, including Stalking the Boogyman in 2013, Curvy Widow and Brave New World, both in 2016.
Coming Up Next
Another play “Well” by Lisa Kron begins on Wednesday, March 18. This is an autobiographical play presented by Immediate Theatre Project and NC Stage. Immediate Theatre Project has been the official Partner Company in Residence at NC Stage since 2008. In short, this means that one MainStage production at NC Stage each year is produced by ITP. Lisa Kron is probably best known for her collaboration with Jeanine Tesori adapting Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home, which was honored with five Tony awards in 2015 including Best Musical and Best Book. Kron and Tesori were the first all-female playwrighting team to win for Best Original Score.
Lisa and Ann, her mother, will be played at NC Stage by Jennifer Gatti and Patricia Snoyer Black, respectively. The ensemble will be played by Natasha Charles, Carin Metzger, Allen Law, and Christopher Long. The play is directed by Willie Repoley, and Lauren Kriel is the stage manager.
“Well” runs from Wednesday, March 18 to Sunday, April 12, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, with additional matinee shows on Saturday, April 4 and Saturday, April 11. Prices vary depending on seating section, and special $10 tickets are available for students under 25 with a valid student ID. Tickets can be purchased online at ncstage.org or by calling 828-239-0263.
North Carolina Stage Company is located at 15 Stage Lane in downtown Asheville and has been producing professional theatre since 2001. For information on season passes, upcoming productions, educational opportunities and much more, call the theatre’s box office at (828)239-0263 or visit www.ncstage.org.