Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Night of the Iguana

This well-directed and only occasionally overacted revival of Tennessee Williams's The Night of the Iguana matches well with Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon's idea of "operating on the realistic level." The small theater has been turned into an airy veranda, with audiences on three sides and gauzy, inviting hotel windows in the background, and director Terry Schreiber doesn't hesitate to play up the lush physicality in everything, from Maxine's (Janet Sala's) sharp needs, Hannah's (Denise Flore's) pliant kindness, and Shannon's (Derek Roche's) wild terrors to the invading forces of loud German tourists, accusatory guardians, and lovestruck little girls. The play crosses successfully from the chaotic, character-defining first act into the quiet, intimate second act through its excellent use of space and sense of self, and whether the rain-soaked climax of the first act trigged it or not, the second act, for all its inward action, gets even wetter and wilder.

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