Scott and I attended the opening night performance of Come Blow Your Horn last Friday at the Pistarckle Theater, the only intimate theater on St. Thomas. Although we didn’t know what to expect we were looking forward to a different night out; this was our first play on St. Thomas. The performance was enjoyable, put on by cast members who are passionate about theater, embrace their roles and love taking the audience to another time and place for a couple of hours.
The Pistarckle Theater was born in 1991, located at Coral World. After two years it moved to the Marriot until Hurricane Marilyn hit in ’95 and the theater was closed until 1998 when it re-opened back at Coral World. In 2000 the theater moved for the last time, taking up residence at Tillett Gardens with an air-conditioned, 140 seat theater complete with a dressing room, lobby, box office, admin area and storage.
inside the theater
Come Blow Your Horn is a play by Neil Simon, described as the following: What happens when a notorious Playboy has his kid brother, their overbearing father and smothering mother suddenly move into his Bachelor Pad? The play is set in New York City, during the year 1961. There are three acts with two 15 minute intermissions. During the intermission you can get drinks and light snacks in the lobby, and you are permitted to take your drinks into the theater with you.
After dinner at neighboring Jack’s Wings we walked over to the theater and found our seats in the fourth row. We flipped through the program until the play started, and then sat back and relaxed. There are six cast members in this play, and each one brought something special to the stage. The lead actor, Carl Williams (playing Alan Baker), is confident and definitely knows his way around acting with a strong voice and just the right amount of drama. Lisa Bryan (playing Peggy Evans) enters next, and plays up her fame-hungry, bimbo role superbly, with a musical giggle and lots of sass. The other girl vying for Alan’s heart is Kelley Martel (playing Connie Dayton), a New England native who plays a perfect show-me-that-you-love-me-and-perhaps-you’ll-win-me woman.
Byron Todman Jr. plays the younger brother (Buddy Baker) to Carl’s character. Byron is only 15, born and raised on STT. His bio mentions that he made his debut at the Pistarckle in 2006, age 11! He is currently a high school junior and plans to attend college and pursue both theater and biology. He was fun to watch and I could tell this is something he really enjoys, good luck Byron!
With a strong presence and stern line delivery we are introduced to Mike Kuich (playing Mr. Baker), who plays disappointed why-won’t-my-sons-take-more-interest-in-the-family-business dad. Christina Harper (playing Mrs. Baker) is cast as his wife and made us laugh as the guilt-giving, “Why do you do this to me?” mother. Both Mike and Christina have experience on stage; Mike has been in over 10 plays and Christina, an actor in Pistarckle’s grand opening play (A Christmas Carol), has remained involved over the past 19 years and appeared in over 15 plays. Impressive!
Cast (missing Byron) from l to r Lisa, Kelley, Carl, Mike and Christina
I have to say, this opened my eyes to a whole new island activity that doesn’t have anything to do with sitting at a bar, or in a beach chair with a drink in my hand (yes, it’s a theater chair, with a drink in my hand, but you get my drift). There is a lot of community support, sponsorship and volunteer work that go into this theater and these performances. 90 plays and musicals have been performed since the Pistarckle opened in 1991. They offer a summer Stars camp for students age 9-18 who are interested in performing (auditions June 12, click here for more).
Come Blow Your Horn has six performances left, May 14, 15 21, 22 at 8pm. Matinees May 15, 22 at 2pm. If you’ve never been to the Pistarckle I urge you to check it out, if not for this performance than for a show in the future. This is a fun and unique night out for both locals and tourists. I plan to make a point of attending more plays and we will be donating to become members of the theater.
For information on tickets and prices please call 340.775.7877 or check out their online Box Office.
Congratulations to the cast and crew for a job well done!