One Georgian Project, “The Man Who Came to Dinner”
At the end of the theater season at AUBG, on Tuesday, April 28, one comparatively bigger cast presented “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” a Broadway comedy by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.
The play was co-directed by the Georgian duo Nino Karanadze and Giorgi Gusharashvili who were not only the people behind the project, but actors as well.
The story is built around a famous critic Sheridan Whiteside’s (Bogdan Dimitrov) visit to a house of the Stanley family in a small town in Ohio. When entering the house, Whiteside slips on the front steps and breaks his hip. Until he recovers, he has to stay with the newly met family, whose house he takes over.
Sheridan Whiteside (“Sherry” to his friends) is a man rather pretentious about his needs. For that purpose, at home he has his loyal assistant Maggie Cutler (Nailya Yusupova), Mrs. Preen (Ainur Zhorabekova) and Dr. Bradley (Vladislav Fedyanin), all taking care of his well-being. The only problem is that he is not at home.
Mrs. Stanley (Aida Kentassova), the owner of the house, does not like the idea of Mr.Whiteside making her “coming in from the back entrance” or “taking her lunch on a chair.” She, most of anyone else, counts the seconds to Mr. Whiteside’s departure. Contrary to her mother, June Stanley (Saniya Tukayeva) is more than happy to have such a famous person in their house, even if for her it only means to take a “selfie” with him. Sarah (Khatia Kvatchadze) and John (Giorgi Rostomashvili) are the staff in the house who Mr. Whiteside tries to steal from the Stanley family. The only person who he does not want around him at all is Mr. Stanley’s sister, Harriet Stanley (Natali Saginashvili), who leaves him with the impression that she is a murderer.
Knowing that this distinguished critic is in the small town of St. George, Bert Jefferson (Archil Gugberidze), a local journalist, comes to take an interview with him. But while Jefferson is hoping to write a story, he falls in love with Whiteside’s assistant Maggie. Mr.Whiteside, feeling threatened of losing the only person who actually likes him (Maggie), calls a famous actress Lorraine Sheldon (Ana Grosu) to seduce Bert Jefferson.
Although Mr.Whiteside knows that he is already perfectly healthy, he continues to lie, in order to finish his cunning plan. Everything takes a different turn when Maggie receives help from Beverley Carlton (Alexandr Soloviov) to solve the problem with Lorraine. At the end, Sheridan Whiteside is kicked out from the house, alone.
“Having seen people dedicated to it and sweating for it during the whole semester, I knew it would be great, but you [the cast] far exceeded expectations,” Omari Lomiashvili, a second-year student, said. “Such an acting of every single person who appeared on the stage is quite a rare thing to see.”
Bogdan Dimitrov, starring in the main role of Sheridan Whiteside, commented, “We worked really hard to make this happen and after all the challenging moments we are happy that the audience enjoyed it and had fun.”
“It was challenging, but tons of fun,” Ana Grosu, who performed as Lorraine Sheldon, said. “There was space for improvement, as there always is, but we did our best and it turned out to be totally worth it.”
Photos are courtesy of AUBG Daily’s Owl Yana Aladzhova.