Check into “Suite Surrender”

Performing a comedy that captivates and entertains the audience is no easy feat, but the Diamond Bar High School drama department succeeded in producing uproars of laughter while enacting the hilarious conversations and surprising scenarios in “Suite Surrender.”

The show features two casts, but the night that I attended, the gold cast took the stage, starring Emily Yang as Claudia McFadden, Grace Thomas as Athena Sinclair and Joshua Kummerman as Bernard S. Dunlap.

The play focuses  on two female singers, McFadden and Sinclair, who absolutely despise each other, but accidentally get placed in the same room at the Palm Beach Royale Hotel. Dunlap, the hotel’s general manager, must keep the singers from seeing each other to prevent a fight from breaking out between the two women.

The actors and actresses had the audience laughing throughout the performance, with Kummerman giving a standout performance. He was in constant panic throughout the entire play, rushing around trying to prevent potential chaos, and his dialogue with the two clueless bellhops Francis (Caleb Chen) and Otis (Christopher Mendoza) was hilarious.

Other impressive performances came from Yang and Thomas. Yang portrayed a harsh, powerful woman constantly yelling at her distressed secretary Mr. Pippet (Diego Tamayo), who was also extremely funny in the production. Yang sang beautifully in her solo of “Stormy Weather,” with her powerful, rich voice ringing clear as the single spotlight shined on her. Thomas was also amusing, with her sassy personality and flirtatious demeanor. Toward the end of the play the two actresses perform a stunning duet of the songs “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Get Happy.”

The play only has one set, the hotel suite, which was decorated in detailed and with care featuring  a grand piano, the bar area, a couch and two bedrooms. The costumes also perfectly matched the 1940s time period with Sinclair wearing an elegant red dress, McFadden in a simple blue dress, Dunlap dressed in a tux, and the bellhops in uniform.

Although the play was very witty and entertaining, the humor was aimed toward more mature audiences and would not do as well with a younger audience. Overall, it was an entertaining performance with a great cast and funny plot. Written by Michael McKeever, the comedy was first produced in 2008.

Tickets for  “Suite Surrender” are still available. The gold cast will perform Friday , and the purple cast, which stars Jolynn Zhang as Dunlap, Allison Santogrossi as McFadden and KT Wirth as Sinclair, will perform on Saturday.