Again, this is where the director, Brian Hansen, needed to step in and temper the performance. One does not want to leave his actor with his proverbial "pants down" onstage, especially in such a large and demanding role. The director must artistically and emotionally work on behalf of both the audience and his actors to make certain that both are protected from the aforementioned kind of experience.
The supporting cast also struggled. Most obviously Richard Boehler as Pasha, who for some reason I could not understand was prancing around stage in a bad wig wearing woman's boots and rolling his eyes in perfect "Valley Girl' style. As a pivotal character as well as one of Dostoevsky's antagonists in the show (the other is an unseen character attempting to manipulate Foydor's royalties for the next seven years) this was an enormous mistake. I have no idea why the Mr. Hansen would allow such a performance in the midst of the otherwise earnest show.
The technical aspects of the show were well done. The set itself was charming as was the layout of the space. The director did stage it well and there was a nice flow to the characters movement onstage. This is admirable especially when the audience is essentially surrounding the cast on three sides as is the case in the theater.
"The Jewel in the Manuscript" has enormous possibility as a show. I salute the Adobe Theater for making the choice to produce strong original theater. With clear vision in it's staging, it may manifest into a notable and enduring piece of theater.
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Tanya Taylor Rubinstein is the Artistic Director of Project Life Stories in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has coached and directed over one hundred one person shows that have been performed across the U.S and Canada. To see more information about her work, go to www.TheSoloPerformanceCoach.com |