Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Secret Order is an actor's play, full of barbed lines, wry deliveries, and so little substance that the play revolves around exaggeration and half-truths. That said, no matter how well Bob Clyman arms them with lines, or Charles Towers removes all other distractions from their work, the play fails if the actors aren't all on their game, and Larry Pine has a ways to go before he's comfortable enough to play the confident Dr. Brock. Right now, he's not a strong enough father figure to make William Schumway (Dan Colman) fudge his cancer research so as to make the old man proud. And his affected delivery, all bluster, takes the bite out of the snubbed Saul Roth (Kenneth Tigar) and lessens the influence and impact of the ambitious undergraduate, Alice Curiton (Jessi Campbell). Given that Charles Tower's direction is to minimize the surroundings (there's really just a rotating metal workbench) and spotlight the actors, the show has moments where it soars, and moments where it's just hot air.