While the U.S. presidential election was (hopefully) decided Tuesday night, the Lansing Community College Theatre Program’s latest production, “Serious Money,” will keep Lansing audiences thinking about capitalism and politics for at least one more weekend.
The play mostly takes place in 1980s London, immersing the audience in the world of international stockbrokers, futures traders, bankers, corporate raiders and industrial spies.
The show features a large ensemble, but there are some standouts. Connor Kelly is Zackerman, a banker who bears a remarkable resemblance to one of the obsequious sons of the blowhard real estate mogul running for president. Not to be outdone, Jessie Frawley, in the role of a devious corporate raider, has lines remarkably similar to those spouted by the Donald on the campaign trail.
Kelly is energetic, to say the least, imbuing his character with an exuberance suggesting several sniffles of cocaine. Frawley matches with high- speed bluster, marching off in faux rage many times during the production.
This duo is matched in intensity by Alexsandria Clift in the role of Jacinta Condor, a Peruvian business woman who unabashedly charms and seduces to get whatever she wants. Hannah Feuka, in the role of futures trader Scilla Todd, brings a more intimate — yet equally sinister — touch.
Tobin Bates is all over the place on stage, but in a delightful way. He tackles three different roles, including a thick accented Scotch-Irishman.
At times, this production seems to be going nowhere in particular. The chirpy British accents were difficult to understand at first, but as actors become a bit breathless they — thank God — slow down a bit.
Overall, there are 25 different roles in this play split among 16 actors. The ensemble shines best in two unexpected song-and-dance numbers, one at the end of Act One, and a second at the end of the play. The songs, featuring choreography by Vickie Diebold and vocal harmonies arranged by Kelly Stuible-Clark, are jarringly different in style than the rest of the play, and yet it works.
Bartley Bauer’s abstract Aztec Temple set occupies the entire expanse of the Dart Auditorium stage, with its steps and stairways suggesting that certain characters might rise up to the highest level of power, sacrificing their humanity on the altar of money.
Scenes where there is overlapping stock market chatter recreate what an actual stock market floor might sound like, and Joe Dickson’s facile use of spotlighting is here and there and everywhere.
Kudos to director Mary Job for finding and presenting this British take on greed and how the search for power corrupts and ultimately ruins the human spirit.
LCC Theatre Program
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11-Saturday, Nov. 12; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13
$15/$10 seniors and LCC faculty or staff/$5 students
500 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing
(517) 483-1488, lcc.edu/showinfo