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Drama in the workplace

Michael Frederic, Katie McDermott and Brain Wallace play the three office stereotypes. Wallace is Barry, the groomed for successor to the office, who gets there simply by being there. McDermott is the overlooked hard worker neurotic woman in a man's world, and Frederic is A.C., the conniver of the group, the catalyst who sets the events of the play in motion. Jim Ganser is the malleable boss, Marlino, who must ultimately make the decision. And so the antics begin.

The set by Clarke Dunham is outstanding. He makes the most of the relatively small intimate space. The only obvious flaws are minimal the desk lamp not only never works, but the audience is close enough to see it has neither a bulb nor a cord attached; the computers are never running even when the characters are "using them."

These are minor foibles and easily overlooked when compared with the major problem of the production. Terry Rabine's direction is so incredibly heavy handed the actors almost universally overact to the point of annoyance. McDermott is the greatest offender. Her part would be so much more effective were she allowed to lay back and let the role lead her rather than try and milk every word, inflection, movement and glance. She comes across as being a total buffoon, but because of the way she acts, not the way the role is written. Ganser and Wallace are also victims of overly emoting but are almost tolerable. Frederic is the saving grace of the evening. He commands the stage with a coolness and ease as the slimy A.C. that is actually believable. The show did have some funny moments; slapstick and verbal barbs that the audience appreciated.

When all is said and done, an evening of dinner theater in the Capital District is novel and entertaining. The cost for dinner and a show is $53. ($45 for the matinee). A drive, dinner and a show make for a twist on an otherwise predictable date night.

"Power Play" runs Tuesday through Saturday evenings, dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., the show at 8:15. The luncheon matinees are Wednesday, Thursday and select Saturdays. For reservations (which are a must) and information, call the box office at 668-5762, ext. 411 or visit the Web at www.lakegeorgedinnertheatre.com.""

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