Last night I saw William Inge's Picnic performed at the Stoneham Theatre. This was my first time at this small intimate theatre, the building of which was converted from an old movie house into a first class, professional equity playhouse. With the North Shore's old staple, the North Shore Music Theatre, now gone I'm glad I stumbled upon this little gem of a theatre.
The performance was first class. The sorrow and emptiness of spinster schoolteacher Rosemary, as played by Sarah Newhouse, pulled at my heart. "Please," she whispered, asking to be married to the man she'd been dating. It was a tender moment in which the ballsy typing teacher bares her soul.
Other strong players included Emily Graham-Handley as Millie and Dee Nelson as the mother. While Millie's teenager-like fidgets initially annoyed me, I was glad to see them lessen as the performance went on. Nelson's performance was rock solid from the moment she graced the stage, mending her daughter's gown, to the final moments seeing her life reflected in her daughter's rebellion.
I'm looking forward to seeing Stoneham's final two shows of their ninth year, Strangers on a Train and Dear Miss Garland.