The Jewel Box Theatre is presenting “Dilemmas with Dinner” and the cast of eight brings tears of mirth to the audience's eyes. Robin Roberts' farce is a great example of a comedic dream for the actors, and Don Taylor directs this dream with great timing.
The action takes place in the home of Donny and Brooke Williams. Donny owns a small bookstore and Brooke is working for a company that has an opening for a vice president. Brooke has invited the boss and his wife over for dinner to butter them up a little bit so that she may be considered for the position she has earned.
Brooke's friend and assistant at work, Julia, and Julia's boyfriend round out the guest list. Brooke has hired a caterer to cook and serve the dinner. Donny has been followed home by a recently fired employee who also tries to be helpful in hopes of having his job at the bookstore restored.
Brooke is delightfully played by Christine Jolly and Tad Thurston is wonderful as Donny. Tiffany Tuggle-Rogers is very funny as the harried caterer and Dalton Thomas as Max, Donny's former assistant, is poignantly amusing. As Julia, Allyson Rose is amusing and Clint Kubat as Stephen is the observant calm one maintaining his cool amid the chaos.
Much of the first act involves the setup and “Dilemmas with Dinner” really gets going in the second act when the boss and his wife arrive. Will is portrayed by James Tyra with a bit of deadpan humor that is insanely funny and Jackie Smola's Louise very nearly steals the show.
Don Taylor has done an excellent job of staging this production. The set is beautiful and the actors all make excellent use of their surroundings.
The first row of seating at the Jewel Box is a little too close for audience members to appreciate the panoramic nuances in the action. Just one level of elevation gives room to capture some of those great little moments these actors present. “Dilemmas with Dinner” is a perfect evening of comedy.
— Elizabeth Hurd