Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Occupant isn't a play; it's an interview. If you can get past that, there's a nice steady rhythm and intimacy to the conversation between The Man (Larry Bryggman) and Louise Nevelson (Mercedes Ruehl). But the total lack of action and obstacle makes this into a passion project for Edward Albee, and for people like me who know nothing about Nevelson, it's hard to appreciate the painstaking work Ms. Ruehl takes to remain in character (even when a cell-phone rings). There's a bit of playfulness in the idea of storytelling, as The Man corrects Nevelson's active imagination, but Christine Jones's set doesn't come to life until the climax of the play, and despite the talents of both actors, nothing significant ever seems to occupy the stage.