Citadel Theatre: The Boarding House

Thanks to all involved in the Citadel Theatre’s production of local playwright Ann Noble’s “The Boarding House,” the seamless transportation to a post-World War ll love story— resplendent with emotional warfare and physical conflict—was a fabulous journey indeed.


A serious head injury discharges Dell, (Michael Bullaro) from the armed services. Disembarked in New York and bound for Boston, he disappears. His sister, Imogen, (Jordan Lee Wakefield) and his wife Sylvia (Emily Robinson) have been running the family boarding house in his absence. The story revolves around their relationships with their tenants and each other.

Sylvia receives French lessons from their boarder, Mr. John, (Luke Hamilton) a teacher and former French army officer. Another guest, Lila, (Michelle Ziccarelli) is having an affair with a married man.

Paul Avery (Ross Patrick Frawley) arrives as a new guest with a secret mission and falls for Imogen. Mr. John declares his love for Sylvia just as her husband Dell mysteriously returns.

The play has twists, turns, intrigue, and is thoroughly engaging. There is no pat ending, and we are left wondering about new beginnings.

Michelle Ziccarelli’s portrayal of the narcissistic Lila adds comic relief. This is a stark contrast to Emily Robinson as Sylvia and Jordan Lee Wakefield as Imogen, who simmer with controlled rage at their respective plights. Luke Hamilton as Mr. John finds warmth and romance in a cranky character. The entire cast provides provocative performances. This is a must-see show.

8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays Nov. 5-21 at Citadel Theatre Company. West Campus Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest $35, $32 for students and seniors. 847-735-8554