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by Rosemary Frisino Toohey

(Socks was staged as part of a double-bill along with Holidays In by Jim Sheehan at The Run of the Mill Theater. This page focuses primarily on the reviewer's comments about Socks.)

Baltimore Playwrights' Festival short and clever one-acts stand out
John Barry
The City Paper
August 3, 2005
Copyright 2005

It’s not that the Baltimore Playwrights Festival hasn’t come up with some good full-length plays, but history overwhelmingly favors the one-act. Much can happen in 15 minutes; in two hours, it’s possible for almost nothing to happen. This trio of plays—“Socks,” “Holidays In,” and “40 Million if You Want It”—is a case in point.

Rosemary Toohey’s “Socks” and Jim Sheehan’s “Holidays In” are scenario driven—in fact, you can almost imagine each playwright coming up with the idea, running home, and milking it for all it’s worth. In the process, Toohey’s and Sheehan’s efforts are short, sweet, very clever, and very funny.

Toohey’s “Socks” extends slightly, but not too far, beyond the average Saturday Night Live skit. For about 15 minutes, “Socks” explores the predicaments of single socks left in a dryer. Unmatched, unloved, they dream of the old days and hope, probably in vain, for the day when they’ll find love again. Each sock gets to tell his or her story; then they all make quick exits.

Brad (Tim Elliot) is a tennis sock that reminisces fondly about the days spent slamming balls on the court. Elaine (JaHipster) is apparently a high-class sock, spinning tales of her own glory days. Steve Lichtenstein’s Meyer is a wonderfully sleazy used-car salesman sock, complete with wrinkled sports jacket and off-key necktie. Kimberly Hannold is the somewhat flaky, eternally optimistic Ceil, a sock belonging to a one-time dancer. Quick pacing and blocking give each of the characters his or her moments in the light. With a light touch, Toohey even manages to insert a little pathos into the situation.

Kathleen Amshoff’s direction...is impressive. Fluid blocking and carefully defined characters prevent (Socks) from bogging down in its inherent wackiness.

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