On October 11 director David Wheeler opened a brisk paced, quick-witted hilarious presentation of ” Epic Proportions” at the Yuba College Theater. Side-splitting sketches were performed by leading ladies Carmen Smith and Staci Smith-Johnson. They produced a must-see-it-to-believe-it comedy.
The gifted cast of eleven gave a terrific breakthrough performances that drew spontaneous laughter and received an encore applause of approval from the audience. Smith, plays Louise Goldman, Johnson portrays the Queen, Tony De Sousa and Jack Elkins play brothers Benny and Phil Bennet. Ben and Phil trade love and loyalty for a tumble in the sand between scenes with Smith’s character, while Johnson and others, Connie Ridgway, Carolyn Doxie, Heather Mendez play multiple roles including as the partially nude Egyptian dancing girls and slaves, to pull off this parody of ancient history.
One would assume if the show is so terrific, that the house would be packed and every seat sold out. However, the sad truth is that these great actors performed with the spirit of “the show must go on!” to a near empty theater. Indeed, the show did go on– from biblical times of the Pharaohs and beautiful “Isis” to the old Roman Empire of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.
One wonders how many people on campus knew about this excellent opening of the play? Not many judging by the paltry poster on the wall of the campus library, and possibly the only poster of the play in Yuba County. The question is, “Where was the publicity?”
Other actors in this performance included Gregory Stimac as Octavian, Kevin Williams as Executioner, Ben Mathews as a Roman General and Robert Wood as D.W. De Witt. All stepped out onto the stage and gave a brilliant performance of wit and humor that lightened the heart and sent a message to the college and the community that excellence such as this play deserves much more support and recognition.