Sweeney Dials Wrong Number

Last Sunday, the theater classroom was packed for “Sorry, Wrong Number,” written by Lucille Fletcher and directed by Virginia Sweeney ‘06. This short, one act play opened with a lonely invalid woman, Mrs. Stevenson, played by Paz Mendez Hodes ’07, lying in bed attempting to call her husband. When the operator (Katie Nadworny ’05) accidentally connects her to someone else’s conversation, she is shocked to hear them plotting a murder. As she continues to listen, more of their plan unfolds, their target a woman who lives “under a bridge on Second Avenue near a patrol officer;” a description that Mrs. Stevenson herself fits. As she frantically tries to report her situation to the operator, Nadworny gets frustrated and transfers Mendez Hodes to the chief operator (Annie Wilkin ’05). It is at this point that the play takes a comical turn, with Wilkin connecting Mrs. Stevenson to Sergeant Duffy (Alejandro Castro ’06). Castro quickly loses interest in Mendez Hodes’s report and turns to other distractions, namely, painting his nails. The frantic rambling of Mendez Hodes continues to grow in intensity, fueled by the receipt of a telegram saying that her husband will not be coming home that night. Mendez Hodes really got into her character at this point, overwhelming the audience with nervousness, carefully inflecting her voice according to her increasing levels of anxiety In a last ditch effort, she calls the chief operator at 11:14, one minute before the planned homicide is scheduled to occur. Certain that the murderer is coming for her, she is finally connected to the police. However, before she has a chance to say anything, the assassin (Alex Bois’05) sneaks up behind her a strangles her. Castro picks up the phone at the police department, querying for the caller: “Hello… Hello?” Bois hears and picks up the phone to dramatically execute the title line:“Sorry, wrong number.” Superb acting from all, accompanied by great direction, made this play outstanding. Castro served as hilarious comic relief to the otherwise suspenseful and intense show, using body language and facial expressions to his advantage. His mastery of his lines and confidence on stage added to the overall professionalism that was characteristic of the entire show. To supplement Castro’s comedy, Dan ny Silk ‘07 made a surprise cameo appearance as Castro’s lunch-fetching boy, balancing some of the play’s suspense with well placed comedy. Wilkin and Nadworny also played their parts well, offsetting Mendez Hodes’s intense emotion with sarcastic boredom. Nadworny did an especially good job, truly looking like she cared more about her book than the serious issue at hand. Bois, who also played a Western Union telegram operator, was outstanding in his key role as the murderer. His dramatic reading of the final line made the ending so much more satisfying for the the audience. However, Mendez Hodes was the one who really held the show together, giving an exceptional performance and drawing on her ability to effect the audience with her change of mood, portrayed through her careful postures and expressive voice. While there were some small technical difficulties, they were hardly noticeable and did not detract from the rest of the play. There were a few slipped-up lines by the main characters, but this was understandable due to the length of some of the monologues and the small amount of time within which all theatre classrooms must rehearse. “I think the play went well, and I’m very proud of [the cast],” said rookie director Sweeney. “Sorry, Wrong Number” was well-directed, well-executed, and well-attended, a winning combination for a theatre classroom. if “Wrong Number” is any indication, we can expect great things from Sweeney in the future.