Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2009, 8:17 pm

Review: 'Hate Mail' engenders corresponding laughter

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By Julie Jensen, celtic@qconline.com

Photo: Submitted
Jeff De Leon and Stephanie Burrough star in the Riverbend Theatre Collective production 'Hate Mail,' which opens Friday, Aug. 21, at the Village Theatre in Davenport.
Acid drips from the lines of "Hate Mail," an anti-love story with a cast of two now playing at the Village Theatre in East Davenport. The comedy winds up the season for Riverbend Theatre Collective.

The play begins with Preston (played by Jeff De Leon) buying a poorly made snow globe from Dahlia (played by Stephanie Burrough) in a New York tourist gift shop. When it breaks on his flight home, he writes to ask for a refund, which is denied. Customer and salesperson begin a nasty correspondence with each other.

Dahlia"s boss threatens to fire her if she doesn"t deal with this situation, so she sends Preston a personal check that amounts to a refund, plus recompense for damage to his jacket.

Still the situation escalates. The two continue to exchange correspondence as their storylines slowly weave and entangle.

Friday night"s audience was laughing non-stop throughout the show. Both Mr. De Leon and Ms. Burrough gave passionate readings of the correspondence, and of their communication by computer later on.

The two kept busy in this show, co-directing and designing the set and costumes as well as acting.

"Hate Mail" will continue at the Village Theatre, 2113 E. 11th St., Davenport, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $10, available at the door. Call (309) 786-1633 for reservations.