Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (review)

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (review)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (review)
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THE PLAY: Two minor characters in Shakespeare’s famous play spend time trying to determine their place in the world of Hamlet.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Anyone familiar with the Theatre of the Absurd classic Waiting for Godot will feel at home in this Tom Stoppard play that’s thick with absurdist repartee and existential contemplation. Two of our finest young actors (Tyler Stevens and Adam Turck) take on the title roles. Even though they’re two well-matched sides of a coin, the comic chemistry was slight. Joe Pabst stands out as a grand “actor,” filling the stage with an effusive delight that the entire show needs. Director James Ricks hasn’t been able to imbue this production with the kind of kinetic energy that would have made it seem less painfully long-winded (note the running time), even though he does manage a few moments of levity. Jane Raine has created a giant thrust stage with a few “wooden” elements and Anna Bialkowski’s costumes are suitable. The technical standout is director Ricks’ sound design, which adds ominous accents. If you aren’t familiar with the machinations of the Bard’s famous play, much of the plot (such as it is or isn’t) would be confusing. Running time: 2:40

 

THE POINT: This long theatrical doesn’t realize its full absurdist potential. While competent, it proves tiresome, long and lacking the comic verve that would elevated it to an absurdist delight.

 

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

 

A Quill Theatre production at the Dominion Energy Center thru 2/16

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