You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

While the Sun Shines

Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan's boulevard comedy "While the Sun Shines." The play ran for three years in London's West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It's a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here.

With:
Horton - Wayne Gordon
Earl of Harpenden - Steve Barron
Lt. Mulvaney - Ken Krugman
Lady Randell - Jessica Baron
Duke of Ayr and Stirling - Wesley Stevens
Lt. Colbert Allen - Lewis Rickman
Mabel Crum - Amy Morse

Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan’s boulevard comedy “While the Sun Shines.” The play ran for three years in London’s West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It’s a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here.

Set in London during World War II, the farcical souffle concerns a wealthy young sailor and earl, Bobby (Steve Barron), who is about to be married to Lady Elizabeth (Jessica Baron), a sweet young WAF clerk. Bobby offers the use of his posh Albany flat while he is honeymooning to an American bombardier (Ken Krugman). In a case of mistaken identity, the flier woos the intended bride, thinking she is a floozy provided by his host.

Also in hot pursuit of Lady Elizabeth is a characteristicly French officer (Allen Lewis Rickman), who met the earl’s affianced on a train and is also looking for a temporary flat in which to roost.

Rattigan’s flippant dialogue is typical of the period (P.G. Wodehouse, Noel Coward and Douglas Home come to mind), prompting more polite chuckles than belly laughs.

Baron provides a sweet account of the confused bride-to-be, and her three ardently pursuant gentlemen carry on with the right balance of confusion and witty surface shimmer. Wayne Gordon, as the droll butler, fails to mine the role for its sly asides and double-takes.

Director Carl Wallnau has made some awkward choices, directing his actors to take lengthy journeys around a sprawling sofa to arrive at a telephone they had been sitting near. While scotch and gin is freely poured from dawn till dusk, most of the players barely wet their lips, taking teeny sips from their glasses.

The set serves as reasonably sturdy and fashionable bachelor’s quarters, but the players are often crammed uncomfortably upon doorsteps and appear to squeeze through a partly opened bedroom door as if there were no room for them on the other side. The clumsiness prompted one to conjure thoughts of what might be happening backstage. The unseen pandemonium of “Noises Off” comes to mind.

While the Sun Shines

Centenary Stage Co., Hackettstown, N.J.; 174 seats; $17.50

Production: A Centenary Stage Co. presentation of a play in three acts by Terence Rattigan. Directed by Carl Wallnau.

Creative: Set, Gordon Daniele; costumes, Julia Sharp; lighting, Edward Matthews; sound, Scott O'Brien; stage manager, Charlotte Volage. Opened Oct. 12, 2001. Reviewed Oct. 14. Running time: 2 HOURS, 25 MIN.

Cast: Horton - Wayne Gordon
Earl of Harpenden - Steve Barron
Lt. Mulvaney - Ken Krugman
Lady Randell - Jessica Baron
Duke of Ayr and Stirling - Wesley Stevens
Lt. Colbert Allen - Lewis Rickman
Mabel Crum - Amy Morse

More Legit

  • Samantha Barks, Andy Karl'Pretty Woman: The

    'Pretty Woman' Broadway Cast Recalls Performing for Julia Roberts

    Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan’s boulevard comedy “While the Sun Shines.” The play ran for three years in London’s West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It’s a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here. Set […]

  • Sally Field Bill Pullman

    Sally Field, Bill Pullman Set London Stage Debuts in 'All My Sons'

    Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan’s boulevard comedy “While the Sun Shines.” The play ran for three years in London’s West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It’s a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here. Set […]

  • Pretty Woman musical

    Broadway Review: 'Pretty Woman: The Musical'

    Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan’s boulevard comedy “While the Sun Shines.” The play ran for three years in London’s West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It’s a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here. Set […]

  • Alex BrightmanAmerican Theatre Wing’s 70th Annual

    'Beetlejuice' Musical Taps 'School of Rock' Broadway Star

    Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan’s boulevard comedy “While the Sun Shines.” The play ran for three years in London’s West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It’s a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here. Set […]

  • Keri Russell Star Wars

    Keri Russell to Join Adam Driver in 'Burn This' on Broadway

    Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan’s boulevard comedy “While the Sun Shines.” The play ran for three years in London’s West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It’s a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here. Set […]

  • Ethan Hawke

    Ethan Hawke Gets Candid on Fame, Filmmaking and What He Learned From 'Reality Bites'

    Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan’s boulevard comedy “While the Sun Shines.” The play ran for three years in London’s West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It’s a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here. Set […]

  • 'Gettin' The Band Back Together' Review:

    Broadway Review: 'Gettin' the Band Back Together'

    Centenary Stage has revived a rare antique in Terence Rattigan’s boulevard comedy “While the Sun Shines.” The play ran for three years in London’s West End but lasted for a mere 39 performances on Broadway. It’s a brittle and bright but dated trifle that requires a certain style and technique not always present here. Set […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content