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"Ring Twice for Miranda" by Alan Hruska at New York City Center Stage II

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Ring Twice for Miranda

By Alan Hruska
Directed by Rick Lombardo

New York City Center Stage II
West 55th Street, Btw. 6th and 7th Avenues

William Connell, Katie Kleiger, Ian Lassiter, Graeme Malcolm
George Merrick, Daniel Pearce, Talia Thiesfield

Scenic Design: Jason Sherwood
Costume Design: Ann Hould-Ward
Lighting Design: Matthew Richards
Sound Design: Rick Lombardo
Original Music: Haddon Kime
Production Stage Manager: CJ LaRoche
Production Supervisor: Production Core
Casting: Michael Cassara, CSA
Company Manager: Jon Hamel
Press Representative: Keith Sherman & Associates, Inc.
Advertising/Marketing/Social Media: ABM
General Management: DR Theatrical Management

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 19, 2017

Alan Hruska’s new play, Ring Twice for Miranda, has the early scenery and characters sealed for a French-styled farce. But, alas, rather than a French farce we experience a potential parlor play turned into alley trash farce. Sir (Graeme Malcolm) owns a mansion in an untitled city. Downstairs, in servants’ headquarters, bells are seen and heard, two rings for the chamber maid, Miranda (Katie Kleiger), and (we are told) one ring for the butler, Elliot (George Merrick). Elliot and Miranda have become lovers, but this butler is driven to know what Miranda does for Sir, the aging head of household. We later discover Miranda’s secret favor for Sir, and it’s quite a surprise. But, earlier, Elliot is fired from the premises, for lack of services needed in the dire economic times. Gulliver’s (Sir’s assistant and accountant, a dismissive, driven Daniel Pearce) job is to remove unnecessary staff. Miranda sticks by her man and exits the mansion with Elliot.

We soon find Miranda and Elliot in an alley filled with trash cans and graffiti. An eeriness and sense of foreboding creep in, before three more characters appear with thunder, in the sound of a dilapidated motor bike. Chester (William Connell), Anouk (Talia Thiesfield), and a plumber, Felix (Ian Lassiter), crawl out of the shadowy filth. One expects violent disaster to ensue, but all is fairly calm, after some fiery bartering and banter. The “outside” alley appears as a metaphor for personal and economic risk, and the “inside” hearth at Sir’s mansion appears as a metaphor for risk averseness and status quo at all costs. Once back inside, Miranda and Elliot face new consequences within and beyond their relationship. Felix, as well, morphs with his companions into aggressively attained status. Among the cast, Ms. Kleiger is the most appealing and interesting to follow. She exuberantly fills out the chamber maid’s personality and dilemmas. Mr. Merrick, as Elliot, seems too boyish in the role.

Among the remaining cast, Mr. Pearce was the most fascinating, as he protected Sir unfailingly, before he, too, met an unkind fate. Mr. Malcolm as Sir seemed too frail in demeanor for the pivotal position as head of household, while Mr. Lassiter seemed too unpleasant for his own newfound fate. Mr. Connell and Ms. Thiesfield were given annoying directions and dialogue, making them instantly unlikeable in the moment. Rick Lombardo has directed this production for dramatic scenic changes but not dramatic innuendo. In addition to an all-too-long unpleasant alley scene, there are pregnant pauses within that seem endless. Jason Sherwood’s scenery is best indoors at the mansion. Ann Hould-Ward’s costumes are also best in Sir’s red robe and Miranda’s black-white uniform. Lighting and sound worked quite well. I just kept wanting more of the servant bells to ring so we’d expand on the indoor scenes and diminish the alley cacophony.



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at