New Company, Inevitable Theatre, Brings “Unsuspecting Susan” To Life With Donna Weinsting

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Donna Weinsting as Susan in the Inevitable Theatre Company production of “Unsuspecting Susan.”

It’s not a new company- just to St. Louis. Transplanted from Dallas, Artistic Director Robert Neblett of Inevitable Theatre Company opens their stay in our area with a gem of a play called “Unsuspecting Susan” by British playwright, Stewart Permutt. Mr. Neblett had the foresight to ensure his success with the casting of local favorite, Donna Weinsting in this one woman play.

As Susan Chester, Ms. Weinsting brings the bright, bubbly and very opinionated character to life. With her background in stand up comedy, Donna has always had impeccable timing on the stage as well. During this 80 minute or so one-act, she gets chuckles and outright belly laughs from this outrageous character. She dotes on her son, Simon, who has evidently had a few questionable moments in his past due, in part, to a suspected mental problem.

It’s her gossiping about the neighbors in this small English village that bring the biggest guffaws of the night, however. A bit of a snob, she berates the local folks who question Simon’s behavior and wonder about the relationship of his new roommate in London.  It seems her son may have started to mature in his new environment and she chatters on about her visit there and her insistence to the roomie that he keep an eye on Simon.

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Donna Weinsting as Susan in “Unsuspecting Susan” ponders the bad news in the Inevitable Theatre Company production.

A somber change in tone suddenly happens when Susan gets some heart-breaking news. Again showing her versatility as an actress, Ms. Weinsting does a complete 180 as she goes through denial and then tries to explore what went wrong along the way and how she might have prevented it. It’s an astounding performance that reaches the depths of giddiness and despair in the flash of an eye.

Mr. Neblett has directed with a clever nuance that only an actress of Donna Weinsting’s talent could pull off. The production design by Bruce Bergner makes for a lovely, Hampshire setting and John “JT” Taylor’s lighting is impeccable. Christina Sittser not only has designed costumes, she also plays a small, non-speaking role in the production. Presented at The Chapel, which has become a wonderful, eclectic setting for plays, it provides a natural setting for one of the more tender and explosive moments of the evening.

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Reminiscing and gossiping by Donna Weinsting in “Unsuspecting Susan” by the Inevitable Theatre Company.

“Unsuspecting Susan” plays through September 30th. Be prepared to be rocked to your toes with the unexpected happenings and the solid performance from Donna Weinsting. Check out Inevitable Theatre Company at http://www.inevitabletheatre.org for tickets or more information.

 

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