A look at two couples’ recent divorces in 1906 New York City society sets the scene for The New York Idea, the spring theatrical production at Keuka College.
The farce, written by Langdon Mitchell and updated by David Auburn, depicts the comedic entanglements of divorce while mixing in one visiting English lord smitten with the city’s easy way with matrimony.
Directed by Professor of Theatre Mark Wenderlich, The New York Idea opens Thursday, April 10. The show begins at 8 p.m. in the Red Barn Theater, with additional performances Friday, April 11-Saturday, April 12 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 13 at 7 p.m.
The plot follows Cynthia Karslake, a freewheeling young divorcee, who decides to settle down again into a much more stable relationship with the prominent Judge Philip Phillimore. Little does she know, however, that neither of their impetuous and unpredictable ex-spouses, nor her beloved race horse Cynthia K, is down for the count.
Cynthia’s impulsiveness has driven her ex-spouse, John, to near financial ruin—and, she fears, into the seductive arms of Vida, Phillimore’s vampish ex-wife. To complicate matters, both Cynthia and Vida find themselves attracted to a visiting English gentleman with a lordly estate and an eye for American beauty. In duly antic course, one couple reunites and one stays divorced, while both the old idea of a socially ‘suitable’ marriage and the superficial new “New York idea”—marry for a whim and leave the rest to the divorce court—get thoroughly kicked around. But will Cynthia and John realize that they truly belong together forever before Cynthia makes it to the altar?
Members of the cast include Kimberley Sweet (Mrs. Phillimore), a freshman adolescent mathematics major from Cuba; Michael Musolino Jr. (Sir Wilfred Cates-Darby), a freshman American Sign Language-English interpreting major from Durhamville; Sierra Lynch (Vida Phillimore), a senior psychology major from Watervliet; Caleigh Alterio (Cynthia Karslake), a senior occupational science major from Akron; Phil Atherlay (Sudley/Fiddler), a sophomore adolescent mathematics education major from Deposit; Alicia Brown (Jacqueline), a junior occupational science major from Kirkwood; and William Staub (Thomas), a freshman adolescent English major from Rochester. Justin Krog, program developer for the College’s Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), portrays Phillip Phillimore. Penn Yan resident Brian Cobb ’08, M’11 will return to his alma mater to portray Matthew Phillimore in the production. Cobb teaches English at Penn Yan Middle School. Pat Fegley, a Geneva resident who has worked with the Pennsylvania Yankee Theater Company (PYTCo), portrays John Karslake.
Members of the crew include Marissa Rogers, a freshman psychology major from Pompton Plains (stage manager); Danica Zielinski, a senior American Sign Language major from Congers (costume designer); Dan Roach (sound designer); and Trish Ralph (lighting designer).
Ralph is chair of the Department of Theatre and Music Studies and an associate professor of theatre at SUNY Brockport, while Roach has worked with the Eastman Opera, Geva Theatre and Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, among others.
The April 10 performance will benefit the cast members’ annual trip to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. All tickets are $7 and will be sold at the door. Tickets for the other three performances are $5 for Keuka College students, faculty, staff, and alumni; and $10 for the general public. Seating is limited.