Milton’s Summer Theater

By Paige Turner, Guest Contributor | July 18. 2018

The Milton Town Players performed their adaptation of a scene from Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington at the Emma Ramsey Theater last Monday night (July 16).

Mr. Glen Bailey made a guest appearance in the title role of junior Senator “Jeff” Smith. His performance was uneven at best, although his material was quite good. It might be that his future lies more behind the keyboard than before the footlights.

The Board of Selectmen (BOS) reprised their familiar roles as clueless and ineffectual solons and did so convincingly. Their new “ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies” rules for the meeting’s Public Comments section aided the mise-en-scène.

Chairman Thibeault, in attempting the more complex role of the sympathetic Senate President, originally played by Harry Carey, was not entirely successful. His stony-faced performance did not project any sympathy at all for Senator Smith or for the taxpayers. For that, he would need to break the fourth wall.

EDC Committeeman Larry Brown portrayed the senior Senator “Joe” Paine, a role originally undertaken by the incomparable Claude Raines. He was the stand-out star of the evening. Brown’s Senator Paine confirmed that government officials can absolutely, by statute, retain and use money they take without authorization. He appeared to have that factoid at the tips of his fingers. His choice of citing it so blandly captured perfectly the cynicism, venality, and corruption of Senator Paine.

The Town Players did well in limiting themselves to this brief scene. A little bit of their governance goes a long way. But do not miss their future shows!

References:

Milton Board of Selectmen. (2018, July 16). Milton Board of Selectman Meeting, July 16, 2018. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/gLovo5_L_3w?t=64

Wikipedia. (2018, July 26). Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Smith_Goes_to_Washington

Author: S.D. Plissken

I thought he'd be taller.

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