By Kayla Tucker, Arts & Entertainment/Features Editor
Whether it was Grandma Vera’s sass or angsty Leo’s big mouth, the audience was cracking up all opening night of the Actor’s Theatre’s new play, “4000 Miles.” More than 100 people filled up the front half of the theater eager for the show to start.
A dramatic comedy by Amy Herzog, the play takes place in Grandma Vera’s (Marti Childs) apartment in New York City. Leo (Owen McIntee), her grandson, shows up by surprise and the seemingly opposite pair develop a friendship beyond what they believed it could be.
And for a four person cast, “4000 Miles” was relatable across the scale. The audience – mostly seniors- laughed hysterically at the generation gap humor, like when Leo called his grandma “dude”. But us young adults in the audience found ourselves laughing as well, especially when Vera shows off her see-through shirt, “It just goes!”.
Along with all the hysterics, the characters also face some hardships and the audience watches them grow along the way. Leo struggles with his dwindling relationship with ‘girlfriend’ Bec (Sydney Doornbos) and doesn’t find much in common with Amanda (Cathy Kim), a very opinionated girl he attempts to take home one night.
‘It’s possible to find the best relationships with the most unexpected people’ was a theme in “4000 Miles”. Leo struggled with maintaining good relations with others and together him and Vera found themselves relating more and more to each other as the play went on.
Director Fred Sebulske was pleased with the first performance.
“I think it went very well, the actors were all ready to [perform],” Sebulske said. “It’s a sweet story.”
But Marti Childs, 90, ultimately stole the show. With more than 60 years of acting, teaching and directing experience, she really illuminated her character to be as real as it gets.
“[I’m] just so thrilled to give Marti Childs a chance,” Sebulske said. He was younger and just starting out in theater when they met, and this is now their fourth show together. “She’s a big deal.”
“My favorite part was getting to work with Marti,” Owen McIntee, ‘Leo’, commented after the show. “She was awesome, she’s hilarious, and she’s a lot of fun to work with.”
“Besides working with a handsome Owen,” Sydney Doornbos, ‘Bec’, giggled when asked what her favorite part about the production was. “Fred is an amazing director so it was awesome to work with him…It’s a really great opportunity to work with [Marti] too. I wish I had been able to work with her more.”
Surrounded by a group of friends and fans afterwards, Marti Childs was still able to comment on the production.
“I love the show…it’s great to be on stage with Owen,” Childs said. She loved bringing out her attitude as Vera alongside Owen.
“I think this is my last show,” Childs laughed. “I didn’t want to tell people before that I was 90 …it scares people.”
The shows will continue to run Oct. 9-11. Curtain time for all shows is 8 p.m. Ticket prices for general admission range from $24-26, $10 for GRCC students, and $20 for other students.