Review: Cincinnati Christian Schools' 'Spitfire Grill' wins audience with story of redemption

The classic American dream of earning a better future and a home of one's own is encompassed in the play “The Spitfire Grill,” performed by Cincinnati Christian Schools. Joe, a small town boy wishes for a fast paced city life and Percy a “concrete and glass” city girl looks to own rural land. Although these two individuals stand on opposite sides of a spectrum, it is clear that a common goal of community and acceptance is mutual in what humans long for. 

Based on the film of the same name, “The Spitfire Grill” was written by James Valcq and debuted in a 2001 Off-Broadway production. The plot follows Percy, a spirited girl in her early twenties. Percy is eager for the freedom and quaintness of small town Gilead, of which she romanticized while spending the last five years in prison. Percy meets and befriends unlikely people and proves to herself and others of her inner goodness and belief in hope. All of the relationships are connected by the Gilead’s only restaurant, the Spitfire Grill.

This show was very much furthered by its creative and trained technical elements. The set was dynamic which kept the audience engaged and informed on the transformations of the setting in relation to the characters. The blackboard ceaselessly transitioned into more positive messages as the characters grew closer and more comfortable with one another. The crew under Bryce Edmonston quickly transformed the run-down and rustic grill into a bright and updated one, so as to avoid detracting the audience’s focus away from the plot. The imaginative and colorful autumnal trees added wonder to an already emotional scene between Eli and Percy. The lights overcame the difficulty of following actors off of the original stage and onto thrusts, which also displayed skill. 

The actors had great chemistry and showed professionalism when not faltering under unplanned circumstances. Katie Kulp played the role of Percy, and contributed with strong vocals and played well off of other actors. Wynter Connell, who played the role of Hannah, was impressive through her convincing movement of an elderly lady. Connell also conquered the feat of taking on the movement of a character with a broken leg. Olivia Louis as Effy added comedic relief to the serious plot of the show, and was very versatile in her humor. 

Cincinnati Christian Schools successfully portrayed a story that reminds its audience of the core to the American dream. When people of different pasts and even opposing aspirations come together, a common goal of companionship and having a home to identify with is shared.

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