‘Enchanted April’ a post-World War I story of women’s friendship

Lady Caroline Bramble, a London socialite, is played by Alissa Cattabriga.

EDMONDS — London’s climate is similar to ours, and as the rainy weather lingers into spring, it’s easy to daydream about the sun.

That’s what Lotty Wilton does in “Enchanted April,” a play based on the post-World War I book of the same name, and currently offered by Edmonds Driftwood Players. Though the story is an old one, it says much about the value of friendship among women today.

Lotty reads a London newspaper advertisement about an Italian villa for rent during April. It’s an enchanted spot, perfect “for those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine,” the ad reads.

Rose Arnott is in a cafe reading the same ad when Lotty introduces herself and proposes that they rent the villa.

The only thing Rose and Lotty have in common, really, is the fact that they lead confined lives in marriages that are less than satisfying. Lotty is exuberant about the trip; Rose is less sure.

As a way to save money, Lotty and Rose advertise for two other women to join them in Italy. Mrs. Graves, an elderly widow with a colorful past, and Lady Caroline Bramble, a beautiful but sullen young woman with a broken heart, join them at the villa.

There, they are served by Costanza, a local who takes care of the ladies, but doesn’t coddle them. While Lotty and Rose blossom in their freedom, swim and wander into town, Lady Caroline and Mrs. Graves stick close to the villa and get on each other’s nerves.

Because she is so happy, Lotty invites her husband to join them. And Rose’s husband shows up unexpectedly. To say more would ruin the ending — though it’s OK to say that all the characters remember what used to bring them joy and what they like about themselves.

Driftwood is attracting more and more fine and experienced (and in some cases professional) actors to its community theater stage.

Lotty is played by Molly Hall, who earned a master’s degree in acting from the University of Washington. Rose is played by Beaven Walters, who has worked with Seattle Musical Theater.

Hall and Walters are a good duo. They play well off of each other. The scene in which they are traveling on the train to Italy is especially funny.

Jason Gingold portrays Lotty’s husband Mellersh Wilton, Nicholas Horiatis is Frederick Arnott and Jonathon Fowles plays Antony Wilding, the owner of the villa. All three have Driftwood credits and other stage experience in the area, and all do a good job portraying men who come to their senses.

Driftwood favorite Cindy Giese French (“Boeing, Boeing”) is delightful as the fussy Mrs. Graves, and Alissa Cattabriga is perfect as the elegant Lady Caroline.

Cattabriga and Laura Crouch, as Costanza, speak convincing Italian. Crouch, well-known in the Seattle theater crowd, has great comic timing in this show.

Paul Foughy directs the play and the show’s designers include John Chenault, Nancy Johnson, Sarah Kessler, Brian Lechner, Melynda Malley, Arian Smith and Brook Yool.

If you go

“Enchanted April” by Edmonds Driftood Players, through March 5 at the Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St.

Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25. Seniors, juniors and military admitted for $22. Go to www.edmondsdriftwoodplayers.org or call 425-774-9600.

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