Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ah, Wilderness! - Artist Repertory Theatre

writer: Eugene O'Neill
directror: Pat Patton
playing Sept 7th to Oct 10th 2010

Nat Miller   .....   Michael Fisher-Welsh
Essie Miller   .....   Sharonlee McLean
Arthur   .....   Nathan Crosby
Richard   .....   Philip Orazio
Mildred   .....   Helena Fisher-Welsh
Tommy   .....   Blake Peebles
Sid Davis   .....   Don Adler
Lily Miller   .....   Vana O'Brien
David McComber / Salesman   .....   Gary Powell
Murial   .....   Amaya Villazan
Wint   .....   Samuel Benedict
Bella & Nora   .....   Amy Newman
Bartender   .....   Grant Turner

sez says: Given that  A Long Days Journey Into Night depicts a version of O'Neill's real family, you can imagine he wrote this as an offering of what he thought a 'good family' might look like.  The Miller family is one to love--and to emulate. It has plenty of quirks but it is held together by love and respect for each other. It nurtures its children and does the right thing all the time. It is rather refreshing--and while parts of the Millers are familiar to all families--they are not like any family I've ever seen outside fiction.  It may be what we yearn for--but it is a far cry from what most people actually experiences.

Well written (as you'd expect from O'Neill), well acted all round, very nice costumes, and then comes the one strange flaw.  The set is second rate.  It seems to be half done with poles and ropes exposed hanging above the stage area.  Even the furnishings were shoddy.  The lace table cloth didn't fit the table,  the book case was half-full of what looks like old Readers Digest reject books, and such.  This is suppose to be the early 20th century...this set didn't look it. It looked a bit too much like a second hand store.

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