Actors Repertory Show Reviews

Over the past weekend, Aliso Niguel Theatre Company’s Actors Repertory shows, “Clue” and “Kimberly Akimbo” were performed for eager audiences at the theatre at Aliso Niguel High School. 

Actors Repertory shows are different from your regular style of plays. In these Actors Repertory shows, the entire production is student led. Students are encouraged to practically bring their own show to life with student run directing, set design, and of course, actors. These shows are a tremendous amount of work as a show that would typically have dozens of cast and crew members, is reduced to just a quarter, if that. 

The two Actors Repertory shows had two different show dates each. “Clue” opened on Thursday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7pm. “Kimberly Akimbo” opened on Friday, Feb. 25 and Saturday Feb. 26 as well.
The first show, “Clue” directed by Erin Brennan, is a recreation of the classic board game, turned movie, turned play. The play brings the classic murder mystery to life with the character pieces we all know and love. But unlike the board game, the play is a hilarious and dramatic standalone that had audiences roaring from the witty dialogue, lovable characters and top rate acting. 

Each actor portrayed their character exquisitely, emphasizing both the flaws and the comedic aspects of the characters. Mrs. Peacock’s quirkiness, Mr. Green’s timidness, Mrs. White’s repulsive nature, and especially the butler Wadsworth, all worked in tandem to cause chaos amidst the already present problems. Every piece of acting in this show was extremely well done, especially the acting of Wadsworth. Wadsworth played a pivotal role in the play, and the commitedness of the actor to the character was incredible to see onstage. Whenever a scene would involve Wadsworth, the theater’s eyes would automatically be drawn to the actor’s immersive, well, acting. 

Not to mention the amazing piano playing as a transition between scenes by Selma Elbalalesy, which provided a perfect way to change the tone of each scene. Eventually the piano player became its own character of a sort, with interactions between the player and the characters. 

“Clue” was definitely a show that lived up to the excellency of the original movie and game, along with adding its own unique elements to truly separate the show apart from any I’ve ever seen, and left the audience feeling incredibly satisfied with the result. 

“Kimberly Akimbo,” directed by Elio Sherrill on the other hand, was an emotional and hilarious show following the life of a teenager, Kimberly Levaco who lives with the chronic disease of Progeria. Progeria is a disease that rapidly increases the age of a person. Though Kimberly is only 16, in the play she is described to look like a 70 year old. 

As can be expected, life in high school isn’t a walk in the park for Kimberly, and her problems at home don’t help at all. With a barely present father, a narcissistic mother and a troublemaker aunt, the life of the Levaco’s is never dull, and entertaining to follow. But when she meets her fellow peer Jeff, life seems to be looking up for her, even as she reaches the life expectancy age for Progeria. 

Another constant in the Actors Repertory shows is the amazing acting, and “Kimberly Akimbo” certainly did not disappoint. The mixed feelings the audience has about the family dynamic the Levaco’s have is brilliantly conveyed, especially that of the mother played by Brianna Graves. Another element perfectly conveyed is the typical teenage awkwardness and dynamic between Jeff, played by Makena Mosher, and Kimberly, played by Riley Kluczynski is excellently done. 

But, the acting of the character Kimberly was truly the showstopper. Kluczynski’s acting was so fitting for the character portrayed. The feelings shown such as the nonchalance towards her disease, and her familial issues, were captivatingly shown. “Kimberly Akimbo” was truly a show that one has to see. The play has the uniqueness of transitioning from a heartbreaking scene to uplifting comic relief that turns the show into the best emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever been on. 

The one similarity between these shows was the shared set. Since both shows ran at the same time, the set needed to accommodate both dramatically different plays. “Kimbery Akimbo” took a more minimalistic approach in terms of set to focus on the feeling of the show rather than the looks. “Clue” used a different method, in terms of set design, with an extensive and functional set focusing on the grandeur of the Body Manor. The set for “Clue” was truly a thing to experience as elements of it moved to accompany the character transitions and dramatic turns that was truly amazingly done. Having never seen a set like it, I was truly amazed when I saw the moving aspects, and could only wonder how the design was made. 

The Aliso Niguel Theatre Company’s Actors Repertory shows were truly amazingly well done, and has successfully, with both shows, made audiences laugh, cry, and reflect on the incredible talents of the student run cast and crew that brought both of these shows to life extraordinarily.