Fools by Neil Simon

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October 29, 2018 by

A few weeks ago, I got the pleasure of attending the Cedarville University theatre department’s fall production, Fools by Neil Simon. It was my first time going to a theatre production here since freshman year. I also helped out on the stage crew of a play my sophomore year, which was a really cool and unique way to help around campus.


I went to the play with a few of my friends, including my roommate, James, and his fiancee, Tasha. We had a very enjoyable time. One of my Cedarville industrial design major friends from Columbus, Hannah, even came to Cedarville to watch it with us!


In Fools, a play set in the late 19th century, the lead character, played by my former hall mate Jeremy, is Leon Steponovich Tolchinsky, a school teacher who travels to the small Ukrainian village Kulyenchikov. He does this to become the private instructor for Sophia Zubritsky, a girl in this town, after seeing an advertisement for the job in a newspaper.


What the newspaper ad didn’t tell him is that the entire village is cursed with stupidity. This is the challenge that Leon must face: Does he stay in town and deal with the stupidity of all the townsfolk in order to spend more time with the beautiful Sophia? Or should he take the easy route out and jump on the first train out of Kulyenchikov? Will he break the curse? Will he himself fall under the curse of stupidity?


The telling of the tale was a skillful and humorous one. Fools is a comedic play that often breaks the fourth wall, which is an aspect in theatre that I greatly enjoy. “Breaking the fourth wall” is the concept of actors in a play or musical interacting with the audience. By doing this, they are breaking “the fourth wall,” the invisible wall that usually exists between themselves and the audience. The actors and actresses were able to play up the stupidity of the characters to great effect. The prowess of the actors was pretty impressive. I’ll admit, I’m not impressed by many theatre productions, as I am a pretty skeptical guy. But, Fools was excellent. It’s pretty apparent that the University has a quality program. I am excited to go to the rest of the plays in the season, and I’m sure I’ll write about those as well!


Till next time!

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