Design for Living (review)

Design for Living (review)
Design for Living (review)
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THE PLAY: Noel Coward’s talky 30s comedy follows the romantic entanglements of two men and one woman. They love each other in various combinations, while considering the merits of their relationships (and society’s pretentions).

 

THE PRODUCTION: When a play is this wordy, it demands a trio with brio. Jennie Meharg and Matt Polson do a fine job, but it’s only when Jeffrey Cole hits the stage that the show sparkles. The first 2 acts are almost exclusively two-handers, which often bog down in endless dialogue that’s not especially witty or eloquent. Director Justin Amellio has attempted to ameliorate matters by keeping the pacing brisk, but the effortless charm that’s needed simply isn’t there. David Allan Ballas has made good use of a transforming set (though more busy than beautiful), while Alex Valentin’s dresses are sometimes ill-fitting or unflattering. The cast makes every effort to “design” a lively production, but the play’s excessive talk hinders the effort.

 

THE POINT: This able cast only sometimes succeeds in overcoming this extremely talky play.

 

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

 

At Richmond Triangle Players thru 10/18

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

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