Source: The Independent

Tonight At 8:30

by Emily Toy

July 31, 2013

On Sunday night I traveled to Guild Hall in East Hampton to see a production of Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30 in the Dina Merrill Pavilion.

In an almost packed house, the comedy was a series of three one-act plays focusing on such themes as life, family dynamics, death, marriage, show biz, the remedial troubles of being in high society, and love.

Starring Tony and Emmy award winner Blythe Danner and Simon Jones, and directed by Tony winner Tony Walton the three one-act plays, titled “Hands Across The Sea,” “Family Album,” and “Red Peppers,” respectively, feature dancing and singing, as well as oodles of tongue-in-cheek dialogue amongst the players.

“Hands Across The Sea” is about a wealthy socialite named Lady Maureen Gilpin, played by a luminous Danner, attempting to deal with the arrival of a couple she completely forgot she invited. A telephone constantly ringing, other random guests, and free flowing alcohol only add fuel to the fire.

“Family Album” focuses on a family of adult siblings gathered after the reading of a will left by their father, whose biggest mourner is his emotionally drained daughter Lavinia, also played by Danner.

“Red Peppers” depicts a married couple who perform vaudeville together and end up clashing with their musical director.

The supporting cast, Tuck Milligan, Andrew Botsford, Gerard Doyle, Delphi Harrington, Tina Jones, James Lawson, Kate Mueth, Bobby Peterson and Delphi Harrington, offers plenty of comedic relief and memorable characters.

Vibrant costumes by Whitney Anne Adams and clever sets by Heather Wolensky also add a unique flair to the show.

All the music throughout include songs Coward wrote himself. Peterson (who also serves as the production’s musical director) plays the piano, while moving no less, during a set change.

Tonight at 8:30 is at Guild Hall all week with shows at, you guessed it, 8:30 PM. The final show is on Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets start at $40. For tickets and more information visit www.guildhall.org, the box office or call 631-324-4050. Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton.

Emily@indyeastend.com