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East End Theater Review: "Admissions" Is A Successful Lit Stick Of Dynamite Of A Comedy

T.J. Clemente

Tristan Vaughan, Morgan Vaughan and Ian Hubbard in rehearsal for Admissions at Hampton Theatre Company opening January 16 - Tom Kochie Photo

What I love about the Hampton Theatre Company is that every production they produce is of Broadway quality. The production of Admissions, a play by Joshua Harmon, was on opening night a lit stick of dynamite of a comedy that is timely, important, and a must see. The Hampton Theatre Company once again has shined its unique bright light on live theater excellence.

The special ambiance of the Quogue Community Hall accented some of what I considered to be special theater moments as I watched the opening night performance of Admissions. This Andrew Botsford directed play had my full attention laughing, wincing, and thinking, all at the edge of my seat.

Ian Hubbard has a "Ferris Bueller" break out performance with one scene so amazing I almost stood and applauded while he was still ripping through the lines. His youth and his stage presence power has future star on stage and beyond written on his forehead. He was magical, mercurial, believable, as he seemed to effortlessly handle what I believe are the integral lines of this production.

I have long been a fan of Minerva Perez since her Romeo and Juliet performance years back, but she truly surprised me with a new range of acting skills that made her almost unrecognizable to me in her role as Ginnie. In a quiet and dignified way, she added a certain depth and humanity to what I felt was a difficult role.

Morgan Duke Vaughan was fascinating with her interpretation of Sherri. She handles this complicated role handily and wins the audience with her honest broker approach, perhaps with an assist from director Andrew Botsford whose pinpoint approach to excellence was stamped in every scene of the many scenes in this play.

Tristan Vaughan is excellent as Bill and delivers some great lines with the right touches. He and Morgan Duke Vaughan have some great stage chemistry perhaps for obvious reasons.

Lastly, I love everything and anything Diana Marbury because she is an epic icon of East End live theater! I hung onto every syllable of her very nuanced lines. Her bubbling talent pours out through facial expressions, pauses, and variation of tones that is her gift and mastery of her craft. I am truly a fan of her talent.

There are many scene changes back and forth and I believe the backstage crew of Ken Morsch deserve a shout out. As the sets appeared, disappeared and reappeared flawlessly throughout the production.

Go see this show; it's money and time well spent, because it is everything wonderful about live theater.

HTC's Admissions will run through Sunday, February 2. Performances will take place on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. An additional matinee performance will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, February 1, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening. Talkbacks with the cast will be offered after the Thursday, January 23, and Friday, January 24 performances.

Special dinner and theater packages will be available in collaboration with the Westhampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries. A special lunch and theater package is also available for the Saturday matinee on February 1, with lunch before the show at the Quogue Club at the Hallock House.

Tickets are $30. Discount tickets are available for veterans, Native Americans, under 35, students, and groups.

Quogue Community Hall is located at 125 Jessup Avenue in Quogue. For tickets, call 1-866-811-4111 or visit www.hamptontheatre.org.

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