Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment

photo: James Leynse

As a Victorian gentleman (charmingly played by Michael Countryman) narrates the story of his incredible shipwrecked adventures, two supporting players (Donnetta Lavinia Grays and Jeremy Bobb) rush about at whirlwind speed to play every one else in the epic story. They might step up and make whooshing sounds into an on stage microphone when the sound of a strong wind needs to be conjured, or they might hoist a bedsheet in the air to illustrate the sail of a ship. The conceit, which has the feeling of childrens' theatre, is not without purpose - the story-theatre approach speaks to the resourcefulness of human imagination, a unifying theme in the show's final half hour. Despite this and despite the efforts of the able cast, the play evaporates into thin air - there's barely any tension in the story until it's nearly over, and there isn't enough variety in the presentation to otherwise hold our interest.

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