Hale Center Theater Orem offers a delightful comedy with its newest production, "Love and Kisses." The mood is light, the plot is fluffy and sweet and the laughs are plentiful.
The cast is quite talented and the direction good. In general, this production lives up to the Hale reputation of entertaining family theater.Set in the living room of the Pringle home in 1963, the play opens with a shocking announcement by the Pringles' teenage son, Buzzy (Brinton Wilkins). He and his girlfriend, Rosemary (Kathryn Roos), have eloped and intend to live with Buzzy's parents during the summer until Buzzy goes to college.
In the meantime, Buzzy's older sister, Elizabeth (Marydee Potter), is planning a fancy wedding with her annoyingly intelligent fiance, Freddy (Cody Swenson). The two couples soon find themselves having problems that seem insurmountable. But with some stern direction from Mrs. Pringle (Nancy Stewart Douglas), Mr. Pringle (John Paulk) sets out to get both couples back together.
The gem of this production is Paulk, who is completely natural in his part of the bewildered and yet loving father. This is fortunate, as the father is the central character of the play.
Paulk provides many of the laughs with good delivery of funny lines and subtle looks and gestures. His place as father of the family is humorously enforced by his insistence that everyone stay out of Father's chair.
The rest of the cast ranges from good to excellent, with Douglas giving a notable performance as the frantic mother whose baby has just gotten married to a junior in high school. Linda Hale is entertaining as the brusque nanny who bustles around doing housework, and Roos is funny as she cowers behind her new husband waiting for him to break the news to his parents.
The set is decorated in classic olive green and orange and even includes a bunch of glass grapes. The costumes by Sherrie Magnusson are especially well done.
"Love and Kisses" features two separate casts: one on Mondays and Fridays and the other on Thursdays and Saturdays. This reviewer attended a Friday performance.
If you're looking for an escape from the daily grind, try "Love and Kisses." It's guaranteed to provide plenty of laughter and fun.