Monday, January 16, 2012

Collapse (Third Rail) Grade C

by Allison Moore
Directed by Slayden Scott Yarbough

Hannah   .....   Rebecca Lingafelter
David     .....   Jim Iorio
Susan   .....   Stephanie Gaslin
Ted   .....   Shelly Lipkin

sez says: humm -- this is suppose to be a comedy--but it is not charged with laughter.  A few giggles here and there --but really funny?  no, it is  not.  Partly that is the play--partly it is the production.  The story is about a husband and wife suffering from the husband's lingering trauma (the result of being on a bridge that collapsed-based on a real event in Minnesota). Their lives have not gotten back on track since that event--and as we enter the story, things seem to be getting worse.  The wife's black-sheep sister shows up saying she plans to live with them for awhile, and the sister seems to be working as a mule in a drug deal.  The wife is worried she may be  laid-off from her job. The traumatized husband is drinking more and more. Because the story needs to move-- a mistaken identify motif is introduced via an impotent sex addict --   In the end--husband and wife decide that so long as they are together they will be just fine ....

Now, if this were funny, maybe it would be worth watching.. but it doesn't make it to funny. The subject in not necessarily funny--so it would take some special acting to get it to be humorous.  While most of the acting was ok, there was a big problem with Stephanie Gaslin's Susan.  She was flat.  Gaslin presents Susan by throwing her arms wide in big swooping movements -- over and over and over and over. You can not discover a character via overstated body movements alone.  It was as if Gaslin couldn't find a way to bring her character to life--and her character needs to be brought to life to find the humor in the story.

In sum: A bit disappointing. Light entertainment at best.  Not the best play--and a mediocre production.

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