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|A CurtainUp Review
By Jenny Sandman
Their wordplay is object-oriented, centering around a lake, and its effect on each of the characters. Effluvia from the lake-pebbles, seaweed-make their way onto the stage and even into their mouths.
Pil and Gina are a young couple staying at a beach house. Pil is the self-styled man of the house; his job, as he proudly tells everyone, is to fix things. Gina, troubled over something, spends a good deal of time swimming in the lake, and much of her time onstage is spent dripping wet. They talk in a convoluted, almost private language that is full of intimations and hidden meanings. Two of Gina's friends stop by. Maddy, a free spirit, brings a breath of fresh air to the play. Nora, laden with shopping bags, is less welcome. She's trying to bring in the outside world, and the others want no part of that.
This is a simple production that lets the language take the limelight (so to speak). Members of the Bat Company Jennifer Boggs (Nora), Lanna Joffrey (Gina), Dan O'Brien (Pil), and Sayra Player (Maddy) offer another top-notch ensemble performance. Joffrey and Player are the strongest actors of the bunch, with magnetic stage personas and a firm grasp on their admittedly elusive characters. Director Hayley Finn keeps it simple, highlighting the tenuous relationships. The one set element is an electronic message board, which displays clever stage directions periodically. ("Maddy enters with a sack of potatoes." "Gina does not take off her clothes.")
The Lake is not crowd pleaser. Those who enjoy their plays as neatly wrapped narrative packages will be frustrated. If you don't mind a play that's a puzzle, wrapped in a coating of linguistic experimentation, you'll find it worth the mental effort.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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Mendes at the Donmar
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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