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Clifton Players presents British-Style Romp in Northside

Review by Liz Eichler of “Champagne Gods”: Clifton Players

Clifton Performance Theatre is in Northside now, at the Liberty Exhibition Hall, presenting “Champagne Gods” by Emily Dendinger, emulating the style of a British ‘40’s comedy. The Clifton brand is evident with the intimate performance space, the familiar faces in the cast, and the welcoming from the staff.  If you’ve been a fan of the Clifton, you’ll be happy to see this production.

The show, directed by Kristin Clippard, is about a group of esteemed archaeologists and museum staffers at the British Museum, as they unveil a new exhibit, the “Kylix” of Apollo, which is purported to be an oracle, which could reveal the viewers’ soul mate.  Is this sophisticated group of PhD’s gullible or desperate enough to ask the oracle if they are with the right person? Will mad cap hijinks ensue? Of course.

Clarissa (Carol Brammer) is the planner in chief of the unveiling gala and is a great mix of authority and glam. Arthur (Michael G. Bath) is the retiring director, 15 days married to the young brash but likeable American, Gwendolyn (Eileen Earnest), accompanied by his enterprising 14-year old son (Peanut Edmundson). The archeological team of the beautiful and brilliant Holly (Mindy Heithaus) and work-focused Will (Brandon Burton) are also both drawn and repelled by seeking the oracle’s advice on love.

The evening is worth it to see Eileen Earnest, and be thoroughly transfixed by her comedic skills, although everyone has performance strengths in this ensemble. The cast is dressed to the nines and the set is the beautiful gilded backdrop of the Liberty Exhibition Hall stage, with enough balloons to signify gala. “Champagne Gods” is a 40’s era piece but translates well enough to cap off a pleasant evening in the Northside. There are weaknesses in the script, and in the accents, but Clifton Performance Theatre always delivers on live, intimate theatre.

“Champagne Gods” plays through May 12, including a performance on Monday, May 7.  For more information go to www.cliftonperformancetheatre.com