Skyline Theatre club delivers an outstanding performance

“The Time of Your Life” is an ensemble of different lives, a five act play written by William Saroyan, and tackled Skyline’s Theater Club and Director Kevin Simmers. Both actors and stage hands have worked for over two months to make this play come alive, and they certainly succeeded.

Set in 1939, the majority of the play takes place at Nick’s, a bar on the waterfront of San Francisco. It’s where all different types of people come to drink and talk. When people entered the theater that Sunday afternoon, the first thing their eyes laid on was the set, and it was quite alluring. It was imperative for every detail to have been accurate and to my delight, it was. From the knick-knacks to the black and white photographs, nothing felt out of place. The same can be said for the costume design as well. These students worked through the week on creating a solid visual for the audience.

As for the show itself, the actors were all decent at best. The first character the audience became invested in was Willie, played by Deo Gammad, a man determined to beat a pin ball game. The idea of having to stretch your muscles before playing pin ball is so absurd that it made everyone smile sooner than expected. And I was certainly glad that the pin ball machine did not make a sound, because that would have distracted the audience from the acting of Josh Medina and Steven Marshall, who play the bar owner and the main character Joe respectively. These two are actors with accents so spot on that if they were lecture professors I would actually pay attention.

But the one who really set the bar high was Tom, played by Ben Rampley. His performance was enough to squeeze a tall glass of empathy from a brick. With the use of his voice to convey his feelings, he had the audience believe that they were in the play. His acting strength was superb, as was his love for the character Kitty Duval, played by Cecilia Ramos, a young woman who hopes for more out of what little she has out of life.

An actor who also stood out fwas Joe Jensen, who played Dudley, a conflicted man in love who cannot get off the phone. The actor really knew how to enter and exit a stage, especially with his love, Elsie, played by Rorie Azucena. Their scene may have been short but the way they reacted to one another as they held hands before leaving the bar was one of the funniest highlights of the show.

Another noteworthy example of comic relief would be from Grant Crawford Jr. who performed well as Harry. The way he danced and spoke to everybody at the bar made him annoying and lovable at the same time. The actor proved to be very versatile when he was able to fall on the floor and roll onto his chair in one motion. And versatility appeared to be commonly shared among this cast with Rigel Kent Madrona as Wesley, the bar’s pianist. Madrona’s piano playing manages to compliment every scene without distracting the audience from the story.

The list of talent in this production only gets longer, with April Crawford as the newsboy proving that there are no small roles, only small actors. Despite her role being as minimal as it was, she brought a lot to the table the moment her character showed off his ability to sing. Crawford left the stage on a strong note, with the audience clapping and cheering before the play had even ended.

Other actors also drove home the “no small roles” adage. While they were not the main focus, Joshua Doctor, Diego Baldonado, Dave Gammad, Marco Macay, Casey Marr, Lisa Olson, and especially Steven Danz all managed to make me wonder who they were and when they’d be on stage again. Diego Baldonado certainly helped raising anticipation during his last scene.

Another important thing to point out is how much the actors and actresses mastered performing multiple characters. It’s people like Vanessa Fitzpatrick, Gail Hobbs, Erin Perry, Chris Schachern, and Joshua Doctor who almost fooled the audience into thinking the amount of cast members was much larger than it really was.

Altogether, the entire cast worked well with the amount of time they were given. The performances were almost as good as the set and costumes.

There were just too many things going on at the same time in one place. At some points, the audiences attention was confused, they seemed unsure of who’s story to invest in. But it’s worth mentioning that when every actor was on stage, they were doing something even if they were not the ones speaking. When Steven Danz and Rigel Kent Madrona’s purpose was to just sit down, they were making towers out of playing cards. Before speaking his first line, Dave Gammad was reading a newspaper.

THat being said, it’s director Kevin Simmers’ attention to detail and the stellar cast of actors that assured everyone in the audience that they would not be wasting their time.