of 'Cheaper by the Dozen'
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good-looking cast, quick scene changes, singing, dancing, comedy,
romance and a hint of sadness -- what more could you want on a warm
summer evening? It was all there Friday night as the second phase of
the Lincoln Community Theatre season got under way with "Cheaper by
the Dozen." A near-capacity audience filled the Johnston Center on the
campus of Lincoln College for the first of seven performances that
will continue through Aug. 3.
In case you missed the book and the movie, "Cheaper by the Dozen" is
the true story of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gilbreth and their 12
children, set in the early decades of the 20th century.
Frank is a
well-known scientist who tests his theories of industrial efficiency
on his reluctant family. Every room in the house becomes a
laboratory for increasing learning and reducing wasted motion, thus
making virtually every process more efficient. At various times and
in sometimes hilarious ways, the children rebel against this
"tyranny," but when Father blows his whistle, they never fail to
line up like soldiers.
Except for some minor sound problems, the
opening night production went off without a hitch and was especially
entertaining during the many musical numbers. The small pit
orchestra supported the talented cast beautifully without
overpowering them. Every solo part was well-sung, but special
mention must be made of the numbers involving Father, portrayed by Rob Siebert,
and Mother, portrayed by Joye Anderson. Both were absolutely convincing in their
parental roles and rock-solid in their singing.
The children, who
ranged in age from second grade to college, were delightful and
filled the stage with activity throughout the play. Nearly a dozen
other cast members added to the energy and authenticity of the show
in a number of supporting roles.
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An unusual aspect of this production is a testament to the talent
of this young cast and crew: The remaining seven productions will go
on without Tim Searby. Before he agreed to serve as director of this
production, Tim and his wife, Lorna, had already booked plane tickets
for their vacation, so they are leaving Lincoln today (Saturday). At
the reception after the show Friday night, Tim said that he will
greatly miss the cast and crew, of course, but he won't worry for a
minute about the show's success because of how smoothly it went
It's that good -- don't miss it!
[By ALAN KLINE]