Alumnus stars in local production

All An Act Theatre Productions is currently performing an American classic, “Of Mice and Men.” Starring in this very small cast was Nick Kikola, a 2008 Gannon University graduate.

Originally a novel by American author John Steinbeck, “Of Mice and Men” takes place in an agricultural valley in northern California during the 1930s. The story spans four days.

On a Thursday night, George (Wayne Gardner) and Lenny (Kikola) are traveling to a farm to find work. George tells Lenny about how important it is that they both get this job and keep it, as they have not had much luck doing so in the past due to Lenny’s mental handicap.

The story then follows the trials that George and Lenny face. On the farm, they encounter a skeptical boss, his son Curly with “little-man’s syndrome,” his wife, a crippled African-American man named Crooks, Candy the handy man, Slim the “jerkline skinner,” a ranch hand with a strong sense of smell named Carlson, a younger ranch hand named Whit and Candy’s old smelly dog.

Throughout the story, George struggles to help Lenny deal with all of the different challenges that face him and his short memory.

Lenny intermittently suffers an internal battle between his love of soft things and his ignorance of his own strength, which leads to his demise.

During the show, a lot of stage time was dedicated to the characters discussing events that happened during the day or earlier in their lives.

Steinbeck’s writing style can tend to drag; it is not something that everyone may enjoy.

The performance in itself was executed very well. Each cast member did a great job of making his or her character unique to the storyline.

The small cast size helped to make each character a memorable one.

The set of the show was a very simple yet practical one. The scene changes were quite quick, although there were some long pauses during scenes waiting on an entrance.

In case the audience did not have the chance to memorize the setting of every single scene, the lighting cues helped viewers to distinguish the time of day and the mood of the scene.

The sounds and offstage voices also assisted with this.

“Of Mice and Men” will be showing again at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 and 21; 7:30 p.m. Saturday Sept. 15 and 22; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; and 3 p.m. Sunday Sept. 23.

All An Act Theatre is offering a dinner and show combo package with La Bella restaurant. When you ask for the special, you’ll receive 15 percent off your dinner tab and 20 percent off your ticket price on Friday and Saturday nights.

Admission to “Of Mice and Men” is $7 for students. One dollar of each admission helps to benefit Community Shelter Services and Erie’s homeless.



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