Witty family drama with the Bliss Family


The director, stage manager and cast of Chaminade’s production of “Hay Fever” lined up in their 1920s costumes.

Going to see Chaminade University production of “Hay Fever” is like taking a step back from your own life and being entertained by the insights into the eccentric Bliss family. The play originally written by Noel Coward in 1924 is a comedy of manners that keeps on entertaining audiences even in the 21 century.

Looking into the Bliss family, reality turns to fiction, drama is a daily occurrence, and they live in a world where they only see their own individual needs. The play gets interesting when each of the four characters of the family invites a houseguest over for the weekend.

Judith Bliss, played by Stacia Garlach, is a retired actress who is a little full of herself and won’t accept that the glorious days of acting is over. She is the mother of the house, but when one of her guest arrives she takes to her seductive powers. Garlach’s character might be the most difficult of the four main parts, but she delivers. The audience kept on laughing by the delivery of the witty lines. She feels hopeful as she invites a fan of hers, Sandy Tyrell played by Adam Brewer, to stay over for the weekend.

Mrs. Bliss is married to David Bliss, played by Cliff Bieberly, who is a Communication professor at Chaminade. He brings the father of the Bliss family to life even in this uncontrollable household. Mr. Bliss is a novelist working on his new novel, while he invites a pretty but brainless 1920s flapper named Jackie Coryton (played by Angelica Lewis) over for the weekend.

The two remaining parts of the family is daughter Sorel Bliss (played by Shannon Gray) and son Simon Bliss (played by Treston Silva). They are two unconventional kids with their own independent plans for what the weekend should behold.

Sorel has an interest for the diplomat Richard Greatham (played by Aaron Anthony Harper), while Simon is looking forward to spend some time with the fashionable Myra Arundel (played by Ashleigh Taylor).

It is the amusing dialog between the characters that makes the play a great one. The actors bounce off each other, which creates a dynamic and funny play. They have emotional line deliveries and humorous facial acting. As they do in the scene where Judith puts on a dramatic performance and Sorel rolls her eyes.

There is symmetry to the play as the Bliss family finds its fit with characters that they didn’t invite but rather the individuals that were invited by other family members.

Judith ends up seducing daughter Sorel’s guest, Richard, and Sorel takes her mother’s guest, Sandy into the other room for a little make out session. David is intrigues by Simon’s guest, Myra, while Simon want to be with the brainless flapper, Jackie. The chaos in the house builds throughout the play, as it gets more and more complicated and hilarious.

The Chaminade production of “Hay Fever” was directed by Father Robert Bouffier, who also directed last year’s play “ Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.”

There were both students and teachers in the play and director Bouffier did a marvelous job in casting as the play relies heavily on the actors and their performances. Each character was believable and made the experience of the play a lifelike look into the drama of the Bliss family.