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Lovely 'Who Am I this Time?' at Carpenter Square

Several short stories from Kurt Vonnegut’s collection Welcome to the Monkey House have been woven together and adapted for the stage by Aaron Posner. The resulting play, “Who Am I This Time?” was lovingly brought to life at Carpenter Square Theater. Playing through March 14, the talented cast, led by director Kenneth Benton, took the audience through the lives of people in North Crawford, Connecticut in 1962.

Craig Pruitt led off as Tom Newton, the narrator, a storm window and bathroom enclosure salesman who is also directing the community theatre production of “Streetcar Named Desire.” He navigates us through the stories of a young couple deciding their future, a local boy who can act amazingly well but has no social skills and the telephone company rep who has never acted before, the effect of a famous actress on several relationships, and the danger of custom etching on shower stall doors. Pruitt, a skilled actor, gave us a Tom who is comfortably insecure and delightfully diffident in his appreciation of the many ways that love inhabits our lives.

Jennifer Farley as Tom’s wife Kate deftly demonstrated the range of realities that a small town homemaker must face. Always charming and believable, Farley’s Kate deals with her partner’s lack of self-confidence and his unexpected emotional perfidy with a lovely and vulnerable strength.

Mike Waugh, in several characters, was funny and comfortable—until act II, when he takes on the role of George, a man whose second marriage is breaking apart and who now sees the shards of his first as lost chances for happiness. Waugh gave us a man reeling through many layers of pain and recovery, and he does so with charm, humor, and guts. An epic, episodic, and alcoholic conversation between George and Tom stole the show and elevated the performances of both Pruitt and Waugh to both high and low art.

Rodonna Carter, Erick Rivera, Lana Henson, Caitlyn Royse and Nathan Dunn filled the roles of other townsfolk dealing with the vagaries of love. Carter and Rivera’s opening sketch was very sweetly played, and Royse and Dunn very competently took center stage as romantic inter-actors in the unseen “Streetcar” play. Dunn in particular gave us a very complex and funny character in Harry Nash, the socially awkward actor. Henson, always funny, did not disappoint here, adding her delightfully caustic timing to both of her characters.

Costumes by Carpenter’s artistic director Rhonda Clark were perfect for the period, recalling a small town 1960s that probably never really existed. Designed by director Benton and master stage craftsman Ben Hall, the set, which was originally introduced as the stage of the community theatre, quite believably served as backdrop for many different locations. The period music, accompanied by a song composed by James Sugg, kept us all in the appropriate moment.

“Who Am I This Time?” plays through March 14 at Carpenter Square Theatre, 800 W. Main Street in Oklahoma City. Curtain is at 8:00 on Friday and Saturday and 7:30 on Thursdays. The matinee on Sunday, March 8 is at 2:00. To purchase tickets, visit the website at or call the box office at 405-232-6500.