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Jeff Ronnan (Moss Hart) & Barbara Salant (Aunt Kate)

“Another Hit in Bethlehem,” ‘Act One’ 5 out of 5 stars!

Act One Production Captures the heart of Hart and the Theater” (Photo by Brian Haeffele) 
Excerpt-Review by Joanne Greco Rochman (Republican American)
“It is hard to imagine a small country theater company like Clay & Wattles, tucked tightly into the pastoral setting at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, as a theatrical jewel. However this theater group is repeatedly producing excellent productions and the theater going public needs to be aware of this company’s work.”
“For the first time in Connecticut, Clay & Wattles presents “Act One” the biographical portrait of playwright Moss Hart at The Gary-The Olivia Theater, located on the ground of the Abbey. This is not only an outstanding production but the play really is the thing here.”
“…The 14-member cast plays more than 40 roles. Director Sally Camm has brought together an amazing cast and created a most memorable production. Jeff Ronan as the middle Moss has created a vivid and fully realized character. Ronan’s talents are so strong that he portrays Moss as shy, excited, nervous or confident by feeling all of the above himself. He digs deep and his efforts result in highly dramatic moments. Thomas Camm who is regularly featured at the theater, once again moves in and out of characters with the ease of a chameleon. When he’s Kaufman, he’s eccentric, when he is the older Hart and the narrator, he’s factual; and when he’s Moss’ father he is downright mean. You know just what role he plays by his stance, facial expressions and his gestures. Catherine Annulli and Barbara Salant bring their characters to vivid life. Salant, as Aunt Kate reacts so believably that when she hurts you feel for her. Nico Apicella holds his own as the young boyish Moss and Jonathan Gibbons, David Macharelli and Michael Hodges give standout performances as Moss’s friends. Maurio Hines is especially potent as the angry actor who resents how few roles there are for black men and Tim Phillips as Mr. Pitou, Moss’s first boss, delivers a solid performance”
“Also contributing to the success of this show are Pat Spalding, Caroline McCaughey, Megan Corcoran and Alexandra Camm. Charles Smith provided excellent music throughout the production and worked well with Patrick Monaghan’s sound and Lesley Bowman’s costumes accented the characters identities brilliantly. This is a must see production.” 5 out of 5 Stars!
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