Warehouse Theatre’s Production of “The Clean House” #Greenville


The Clean House - Sarah Ruhl

Let me preface this post with the fact that I had never heard of The Warehouse Theatre until my family participated in the “Google on Main” event earlier this year. After that event, there was a follow-up which took place at The Warehouse and that was the first time I set foot in the facility.

Since then, we have been seeing lots of discussions on various social media sources about plays and events at that venue and decided we just had to check it out, so I purchased tickets on the phone last week for “The Clean House”… To make this even more interesting, I scored a “Social Media Press Pass” which let me in for free…  What on earth was The Warehouse Theatre thinking when they gave MEa press pass? haha  I think it must be because I quickly jumped on the band wagon when Aaron Von Frank (@AaronVonFrank) said he and Paul would dress up as French Maids and clean the home of one lucky attendee if all the shows sold out!  

All that aside, I took my wife Pamela, 17 year old daughter Megan and 15 year old son Brett this afternoon’s performance of “The Clean House”.

Having little exposure to community theatre, I must admit that when I walked in the doors today I was not exactly sure what to expect. I’ve been to many plays and musical productions, paying lots of money for great seats in world reknown theatres, and to be honest, I had braced myself for disappointment. I assumed that I would be watching a production similar to a high school play, with lousy lighting, poor audio, a spartan set and worse, actors straight out of the high school drama department.

Boy was I wrong! The audio was perfect, excellent sound quality, not a missed cue. The lighting was outstanding, including a video backdrop with colored background and text/graphics that were perfectly synchronized with the actors – if there was a mistake made, I sure didn’t witness it!

The set itself was a work of art and fit perfectly with the lifestyle of Lane (Stark white, sterile, with modern furnishings), however, the biggest thing I was wrong about was the quality of these actors!

I am not familiar with the work of the playwright, Sarah Ruhl, but these actors managed to portray characters that I believe we all can relate to and managed to capture our hearts in doing so. Many Broadway productions I’ve seen could have benefited from the expertise of this cast! I saw nothing but true seasoned professionals!

Without giving away too much, this play is funny…  And the timing of the cast was impeccable.  The lead character, Matilda (played by Lynne Junker) is a hired on by Lane (Debra Capps) as a house keeper, but she hates cleaning… Matilda has us laughing from the start. Virginia (played by Elizabeth Finley) the OCD sister of Lane feels moved to help the “depressed” Matilda by cleaning for her.

While cleaning, Virginia discovers the undergarments of someone other than Lane and that leads to the assumption that Lane’s husband Charles is having an affair. As it turns out, it is more than an affair, and we are taken on an interesting ride through what could be considered unbelievable if you have never been involved in something so ludacris in real life. My wife says she can totally relate with every character as the twist and turns unfold.

The play takes you full circle through relationships and the drama that goes with them sometimes. As I mentioned, it is very lighthearted, so do go prepared to laugh at the tragic story. (It is really a love story, but I’ll let you discover this for yourself)…

I feel I must appologize to these wonderful actors and The Warehouse Theatre for being so cynical about what Greenville had to offer in The Arts. I have been missing out on a lot and I am glad to have discovered this source of entertainment and enlightenment for our family.  For a fraction of the cost of an evening at The Peace Center, you can rest assured we will be visiting this venue frequently! 

The next show at The Warehouse Theatre is “The Rocky Horror Show”, a personal favorite that is coming up in October!!!! Hope to see you there!

Comments 1

  1. Wow! What a great review John! Your experience is very similar to ours. Before Susan and I went to see a play at The Warehouse Theatre, we didn’t know what to expect (but it wasn’t much). We left amazed and even more proud of the thriving arts community/culture in Greenville.

    The reality is that the Warehouse team is full of internationally-trained, Broadway-seasoned experts that can hang with anybody in the world. It shows.

    Look forward to seeing you at more plays. And we’d have been idiots for not bringing you on board for The Warehouse Theatre’s Social Media Press Pass. 🙂

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