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Jewel Box Theatre sets the table with a strong cast, great dialogue and other ingredients to whip up its 'Wartime Recipes'



of the time "? from radio news broadcasts and air-raid sirens to especially the characters. They may be painted with broad strokes at times, but their differences lead to fireworks that keep things interesting. They are bolstered further by smartly crafted, period-specific dialogue, fantastically delivered by the strong ensemble.

Hall does solid work, remaining likable and getting laughs from the audience, even as she's putting more work off on little Edy. In a highly entertaining performance that's just shy of too big, Dunn dominates the stage as the brash Iris. Caldwell holds her own against Dunn in a number of scenes, bringing the attractive, levelheaded Patsy to life with ease.

Saddled with one of the few straight dramatic roles, Greer acquits herself well as the emotionally burdened Margaret. As Howard, Wilmoth is great as the character you love to hate. Selfish, hypocritical and monstrously banal in his cruelty, he's a good foil, especially for Teddy, played with oodles of charm and wit by McGowen.
Caldwell, Dunn and McGowen have the best grasp of the period dialogue, making the now-defunct affectations of language live again in their delivery. 

As young Edy, a serviceable Meg Linck charms the audience, but seems to have some problems at times connecting with the other actors in a way that feels natural and unrehearsed. She deserves special praise for deft execution of what could have been a disastrously mismatched high-flying dance number, but instead becomes a highlight.

The single set is adequately furnished and makes good use of the in-the-round setting. Dale Morgan and Hillary Finch's costumes are top-notch across the board.

The play has small problems here and there in terms of narrative, but on the whole, it's a pretty entertaining affair. Unlike the unpalatable recipes Edy is so partial to making, good ingredients like well-crafted dialogue and a strong cast make "Wartime Recipes" a satisfying dish. "?Eric Webb

photo Marcus Wade, Meg Linck and Parker Wilmoth star in "Wartime Recipes."


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