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Hamptons Theater Review: "The Prompter" Opens Bay Street's Mainstage Season

T.J. Clemente

Tovah Feldshuh and Wade Dooley. (Photo: Lenny Stucker/lennystucker.com)

The Prompter, the first Mainstage show of the 2019 Bay Street Theater summer season, received a rousing standing ovation. Tovah Feldshuh is brilliant. Wade Dooley is sensational. The Prompter is another success for Artistic Director Scott Schwartz and Bay Street Theater.

Mr. Dooley, who is also the playwright, is enthusiastically bursting with energy throughout the show, but it is the genius and acting skills/talent of Ms. Feldshuh along with the subtle but signature professionalism of a Schwartz directed play that carries this production into the winner's circle.

Mr. Dooley, new to the stage, has a wonderful future both in acting and playwriting. There is no doubt he learned important lessons just being around the award-winning seasoned stalwart loveable, adorable, Ms. Feldshuh. She not only carried the show, she lifted it to a level where everyone in the theater rose in unison at the end to cheer the show and her performance. It was a thunderous applause the Bay Street audience saves for those special performances.

Mr. Dooley's performance was also excellent, but he has not yet attained the star power stage presence Ms. Feldshuh has. Bay Street Theater Artistic Director and this show's director, Scott Schwartz, has a unique talent to really make Tovah Feldshuh once again shine under the theater lights. However, after saying that Wade Dooley's performance had many strong moments, his fluid moments and timing delivering key lines were clearly heard and received with the intended laughs and chuckles to prove it. His youth and his energy were tooled and woven into a thread that narrated the story he had to tell.

Seeing this production is a must-see opportunity to see Ms. Feldshuh display her range as an actor and only add to the legend she attained with her portrayal of Golda Meir, in Golda's Balcony during its long successful award-winning run-on Broadway. That show was also directed by Mr. Schwartz. Her timing, pauses, gestures, and movements are of the level of mesmerizing that makes seeing this show so great. Her successes in movies, TV series and on the stage are too numerous to mention coherently. I intend to see this show again, just to be able to get to watch and study her.

The team Mr. Schwartz assembled includes: Kevin Depinet (set design), Mike Billings (lighting design), Tracy Christensen (costume design), Jon Weston (sound design), J.Jared Janas (wig, hair and makeup design), Andrew Diaz (props design), Denise Yaney (stage manager) and Binder Casting (casting). They all added their talent to making Mr. Dooley's play a hit production.

Also, it must be mentioned that the full house of Bay Street patrons added some magic to the night. The fanfare of both opening night of the show and the 2019 Main Stage season had the crowd enthusiastically ready to be entertained and thrilled. This production of The Prompter delivered on both counts.

The Prompter can be seen at Bay Street Tuesday, May 28 through Sunday, June 16. Tickets range from $40 to $125.

Bay Street is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 631-725-9500 or visit www.baystreet.org.

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