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The Secrets Of How A Boy Falls
In the taut psychological thriller, nothing is as it seems in a captivating show of big reveals 
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​Ross’ (David Schwimmer) girlfriend on “Friends.” During seven episodes on the show, Tom was kind of a lightning rod for fans of the show, some who didn’t like the fact that she had taken Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) place in Ross’ heart. “Fans still get angry about that,” she says. “There was a live audience [during filming of the show], and they would boo me when I came on because they really wanted Ross to be with Rachel.”
   Not to be discouraged, Tom moved on and exhibited even more of her talents, using her voice in popular animated series such as "Futurama," "The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," "Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness," "Pound Puppies," "Teacher’s Pet," "Batman Beyond" and "Mulan 2." 
   Now, it’s all about Andi Mack, the much talked-about series, where Andi, played by 13-year-old Peyton Elizabeth Lee, was abandoned by her teenaged mother. Enter Lauren Tom as Celia Mack, Andi’s grandmother who made her believe that she and Andi’s grandfather were her parents––and her real mom was her sister.
   There will be more to this continuing story when Andi Mack returns to the Disney Channel on Mondays in June.
Photography courtesy of Disney Channel
–– Walter Leavy
Photograph by Liz Lauren
  IN the taut thriller How A Boy Falls, it’s difficult to tell who’s the villain, who’s the victim and what price––if any––there is to pay for such an apparent neglectful act. And that’s just the way playwright Steven Dietz wants it. 
   In the Northlight Theatre premiere, running through February 29, How A Boy Falls will keep you guessing while the story leads observers through a maze of make-believe, where everyone has something to hide and no one is who they appear to be. How do wires get so crossed that––when they finally meet––a guy with a romantic eye for a certain woman is mistaken for the contract killer she hired during a phone call?
   The story focuses on Cassidy Slaughter-Mason (Chell), an au pair who––unbeknownst to her employers––has a shady past but is hired by the well-to-do parents (Tim Decker, Michelle Duffy) to care for their young son Alexander. When the boy goes missing mysteriously, the finger of suspicion is pointed directly at the au pair who faces the wrath––and possible revenge––from the parents, who have their own set of secrets and a dysfunctional relationship.
   The writer’s reliance on misdirection as the heart of the play is enhanced by director Halena Kays, whose talents bring out the best in the cast that also includes Sean Parris and Travis A. Knight. In addition, scenic designer Lizzie Bracken created a bi-level set with a balcony that offered a view of the sea, and lighting designer Jason Lynch provided the perfect illumination for a tense thriller. 
   How A Boy Falls resulted from Dietz’s belief that every play is a mystery. “A thriller for the stage, then,” he says, “seeks to ratchet up this mystery––making it urgent and dangerous.” Here, the urgency and danger are evident in a play characterized by twists and turns, leaving audience members to share thoughts about what really happened, and who did what and when.
––Walter Leavy
Sean Parris, Cassidy Slaughter-Mason and Travis A. Knight.
Photograph by Michael Brosilow