And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little is a lot of fun

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Written by Paul Zindel in the late 1960’s And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little is a dark comedy that played on Broadway in 1971 for 108 performances. Now it is playing at The Group Rep/Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood.

The core of the story is the relationship between three wildly different sisters brought together after the death of their mother. Anna Reardon portrayed superbly by Kyra Schwartz suffered a nervous breakdown after the death of her mother and she is now a militant vegetarian with an abundance of issues including an obsession with rabies.

Anna lives in a small apartment with her sister Catherine Reardon brought to life on stage by Diane Frank. Catherine is an Assistant Principal at the same school Anna once worked at. Her coping mechanism for dealing with both the death of her mother and the mental breakdown of her sister is to drink — a little. Well actually more like a lot all day. The third sister Ceil Reardon Adams is Superintendent of Schools and is determined to have her younger sister committed to a mental institution. The role of Ceil goes to Linda Alznauer who also directs the play.

Kyra Schwartz, Mannette Antil,
John William Young, Diane Frank

The banter between the three sisters eventually joined by Guidance Counselor Fleur Stein as very well portrayed by Mannette Antill, While the show is laced with abundant comedy also in my mind it began to totally justify the very essence of the concept of male superiority, that is until Bob Stein arrives on scene. Bob Stein is very well done by John William Young and the character adds yet another mostly comedic element to the show.

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little is very well done with the finest quality of acting skills clearly evident. The show has a long tradition of theatrical success and the version currently on stage at the Lonny Chapman Theatre is overall excellent. But to my ears it did seem at times to be a bit overly gaseous. I mean the chatter began at times to feel a bit overdone. But if that is the worst I can say about the show then clearly its overall merits greatly exceed my one observation of something a wee bit less than perfect. So I can and do recommend And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little.

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little runs now through February 26th 2017, Upstairs at The Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Boulevard, North Hollywood, California 91601.

Show times are Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m.   Reservations and ticketing available by calling 818-763-5990 or online.

Photos by Doug Engalla – Top photo: Linda Alznauer, Diane Frank, Kyra Schwartz