Layered with comedy and intrigue | SummitDaily.com
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Layered with comedy and intrigue

JENNIFER HUFFMANsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Michael Martorano, left, Jaime Peña, Mark Mercer, Jeremy Cole and Skip Wee in the Backstage Theatre production of "Travels with my Aunt."
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BRECKENRIDGE – Four tuxedoed men are seated with black umbrellas in hand as the lights come up on the Backstage Theatre’s production of “Travels With My Aunt.” There’s only one character on stage though – all four men are bachelor banker Henry Pulling.Henry meets up with his quirky Aunt Augusta (Michael Martorano) at his mother’s cremation in Southwood, England.Augusta holds a secret about Henry’s family and is often cryptic regarding this and other matters of her world travels.

“It is a great grief to me now that my travels are curtailed,” Augusta bemoans. “I like having a companion.” She convinces her nephew to accompany her from Paris to Istanbul and eventually South America. They have run-ins with a variety of colorful characters along the way, from her African valet to a possible CIA agent. Four of the actors in the production, Skip Wee, Jeremy Cole, Mark Mercer and Jaime Peña, play more than 30 characters throughout the two hour production, including a stoned teenage girl on the Orient Express, a palm reader and the mysterious Mr. Visconti. Often there are two or three actors portraying Henry on stage at a given time.

Particularly notable is Wee as an American girl and as her father, O’Toole. Audiences will notice a comical semblance to a certain U.S. President when O’Toole enters the scene. Cole is remarkable in his versatility playing female characters like the soothsayer Hatty and Frau General Schmidt. Martorano, who’s graced stages from New York to England, is delightful as the elderly Aunt Augusta. By the play’s end, audiences will truly believe there’s a 75-year-old woman alive and well in Martorano. The show is full of both comedy and intrigue. The ending may leave some theatergoers scratching their heads as Henry says, “All is right with the world;” the audience knows it’s anything but.

The play contains some drug content, language and sexual situations, so it may not be suitable for young children. “Travels With My Aunt” by Giles Havergal, an adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel, opened Thursday and runs Thursdays through Sundays, through March 5, at the Breckenridge Theatre. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and has one intermission. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children under 12. The show’s champagne opening is on Saturday, and tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. Enjoy complimentary champagne and hors d’oeuvres catered by Hearthstone Catering beginning at 6:30 p.m.Call (970) 453-0199 for reservations.


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