Maple & Vine (review)

Maple & Vine (review)
Maple & Vine (review)
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THE PLAY: After a traumatic tragedy, a young couple decides to leave the complicated modern life for the SDO (Society for Dynamic Obsolescence ), where people live like it’s 1955.

 

THE PRODUCTION: This play presents an interesting idea that requires a leap of imagination and a robust production to carry it off. Under the assured, fluid direction of Mark J. Lerman, this world is rendered believable, if not somewhat objective. Without resorting to showy dramatics, the performances are genuine and effective. While he wasn’t bad, Xander H. Wong  wasn’t up to the maturity of the rest of the cast (in age and performance). The show is compelling throughout , but the second act feels repetitive and a bit sluggish. It needed a stronger dramatic force to give it emotional heft. Matthew Allar’s scenic suggestion of a Rothko painting in Act One gives way to a period living room in Act Two, both embody the artistic aspects of the play. Allar (assisted by Danielle Marie Gailey) also created attractive period dresses. Andrew Bonniwell’s lighting adds visual depth to the simplicity of the set.

 

THE POINT: The compelling concept of this play is brought to “retro” life with assured staging and solid performances.

 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

 

At Firehouse Theatre thru 5/8

 

Here’s the SIFTER video interview with one cast member from the show.

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

 

Addie Barnhart, Landon Nagel, McLean Jesse, Xander H. Wong - Maple and Vine - photo by Bill Sigafoos

Addie Barnhart, Landon Nagel, McLean Jesse, Xander H. Wong (photo by Bill Sigafoos)

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