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'Boy Friend' is polished British romp

September 22, 2004

Billie Nichols

George Strattan does a fine job directing a talented cast with

several stand-out performances in Glendale Centre Theatre's "The Boy

Friend."

The heroine, Polly Browne (Minta Fairchild Mullins) was delightful

as a coquettish schoolgirl working her wiles on a self-confessed poor

boy, the messenger Tony (J.R. Mangels).

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It's Paris in the 1920s where the English and American wealthy

send their children to learn French and the ways of the world.

Madame Dubonnet (Rita Tarin) leads the girls in and out of school

as she pursues an old World War II love, Percival Browne (Timothy

Bergen), who has come to visit daughter Polly. Tarin is superb in her

performance as an actor and singer. She has a lovely voice.

Lord and Lady Brockhurst, played by Mario de Gregorio and Ann

Rittenhouse, are polished Brits, as well as actors, in search of

their runaway son. Lord Brockhurst steals more than one scene with

his comedic lines.

Polly's four school chums put on some marvelous song-and-dance

numbers. Mark Knowles' choreography, with the Charleston a favorite,

was very entertaining. Also outstanding is a tango by Paul Reid and

Tosha Pierce, who play double roles. They are a young Frenchman and

schoolgirl, too.

Tiny Maisie (Emily Coddington) gives a smashing performance with

highly energetic dance routines and the songs to go with them. All

the girls and boys did their roaring 1920s scenes with great

enthusiasm.

There is one very funny scene with Lord Brockhurst and schoolgirl

Dulcie (Jennifer Strattan) that tickled the audience pink.

From beginning to end, Hortense, well played by Erin Shayla

Cullen, is outspoken as the French maid who gets her two cents in on

shenanigans at the school.

The costumes, by Glendale Costumes, matched the scenes perfectly

and all the behind-the-scenes personnel did a great job. What can I

say? Glendale Centre Theatre and the Dietlein family have done it

again.

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