Dear Ruth (2017)

Dear Ruth

Directed by Bill Kane
PERFORMANCES: July 28, 29, 30, August 4, 5, 6
Evening Performances: Curtain 7:00 pm; Sunday Matinees: Curtain 2:30 pm

It’s August 1944 and Army Lt. William Seawright has returned from World War II in Europe for a 2-day leave to connect with his beloved Ruth, the girl who wrote him every day; but Ruth is not the one who wrote the
letters and she doesn’t know he’s coming, or even who he is. Her father, Judge Harry Wilkins and wife Edith discover that their youngest daughter Miriam has been supporting the troops by pretending to be her older
sister Ruth when she writes to servicemen, and then the fun begins.

 

The cast includes:
Judge Harry Wilkins – Bill Gibney
Edith Wilkins – Linda Morrison
Ruth Wilkins – Melanie Westmark
Lt. Bill Seawright – Scott Sustman
Albert Kummer – Tom Harris
Miriam Wilkins – Makenna Jones
Martha Seawright – Dovie Templin
Sgt. Chuck Vincent – Darvin Bussey
Dora – Margery Simchak

 


Click on video below to see a short clip from the original 1947 movie

NOTICE: Pinewood Players does not control what thumbnails are displayed at the end of this clip. Do not click on any thumbnails.

 

Review of Dear Ruth

Dear Ruth is a play about a somewhat typical family during WWII that wanted to do their best for the war effort.  Many problems come about because of a 16 year old and her attempts to do something for the servicemen overseas.  While it is not a farce, there are many laughs  that come because of misunderstandings.

The strength of the play is the fine acting done by the Pinewood Players.  In particular, Melanie Westmark as Ruth and Bill Gibney as the judge give outstanding performances.  Melanie shows her thrill of becoming engaged near the beginning of the play and then her indecision as she meets and is courted by a more interesting young man.  Her facial and body expressions as circumstances changed were perfect.  Bill is her father, the judge, who makes us believe that he is a normal father facing an unusual problem.  Bill played the part as a concerned parent and yet just not able to control a situation that was running away like a wild horse.

A new actor to our stage, Scott Sustman, played the serviceman, Bill Seawright, who thought Ruth had been writing love letters to him.  Actually Ruth’s young sister Miriam had written the letters.  Scott was very forceful and controlling as he tried to court Ruth.  Miriam had written about sixty letters to him, and poor Ruth had to figure out what she was supposed to have said in the letters.  Scott was very believable as a passionate, take- charge character.

All the actors and actresses were experienced and gave life-like performances.  Linda Morrison as the mother and Margie Simchek had smaller parts, but they delivered well.  Linda kept trying to give away coffee to every guest, and she showed her ability to be the power behind the family in a couple of instances.  Margie had a great part with her attempt to fit in with this weird family, and the odd activities that kept increasing because of Bill Seawright.  Darvin Bussey and Dovie Templin also added to the complications of the play  in wartime.

One of my favorites was Albert, played by Tom Harris.  He was supposed to be engaged to Ruth, but the forceful Bill Seawright was taking his girl away from him.  Tom’s problems in the subway and his reactions to his problems with Seawright are a classic.  He was a banker completely out of his area of expertise in romance.  Tom’s expressions, his clothes, and even his manner of walking around  were hilarious.

Another of my favorites was the 13-year-old, McKenna Jones, who played the 16- year-old Miriam.  Miss Jones is a product of our Pinewood Drama Camp for young thespians, and boy did she learn her craft!  She had her lines, her facial and body expressions and her stage presence to perfection.  She showed us what our young actors and actresses are capable of.

This play brought back memories to me of what it was like during the war and the director, Bill Kane, worked the cast to perfection to typify the same with the costumes and sets.

If you haven’t seen this show yet, get your tickets at the box office or on line at  Pinewood Players.com.  It is a fine production all the way around.

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