|Paula apologizing to Winnie|
My Wonderful Day is being produced at the Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, through June 19, 2011. A very talented Opal Alladin portrays Laverne, a Caribbean cleaning woman who has wealthy London clients. Laverne has aspirations of saving enough money to return to her native Martinique where the local language is French. She encourages her young daughter, Winnie, artfully played by Philadelphia native Lavita Shaurice, to speak only French on Mardi (Tuesday). You don’t have to understand French to catch all of the nuances of this extremely funny production, but a smattering of French vocabulary is helpful. Winnie accompanies her mother to work, ostensibly because she doesn’t feel well enough to go to school, when in truth; she is worried about her pregnant mother’s health. As an obedient child, she sets about to do her homework assignment-- to write about “My Wonderful Day”. Following her mother’s admonitions to speak French on Mardi, she responds to all the adults in the house in that language. They therefore make the mistake of assuming she doesn’t speak English nor understand their use of inappropriate language nor references to inappropriate behavior. As Winnie’s eyes open wide she jots down sentence after sentence in her notebook. And the audience roars. When her mother is taken to the hospital in labor, even more havoc ensues. Lavita Shaurice, a Temple graduate with a BA in theatre, does an outstanding job of convincing everyone that she is an innocent preteen. David Andrew Macdonald, as Kevin, is quite a credible sleaze-bag. He is supported by friend Josh, played by John Zak and girlfriend Tiffany, played by Kelly O’Sullivan. Kate Eastwood Norris is on stage for a short period of time as Paula, Kevin’s wronged wife, but she gives a very strong performance. Lynne Innerst, voice and dialect coach is to be commended for the first-rate accent mastered by Opal Alladin. Recognition must also be given to set designer Lee Savage. The set is brilliantly conceived and will certainly be given a Barrymore nomination. It not only revolves on a turntable, but also makes partial turns so that characters can be seen in different rooms of the house at the same time. This is a delightful play that will enjoy many wonderful days. Make sure that you catch one of them. For more information or tickets, call 215-546-7824 or visit online at wilmatheater.org.