The Great Gatsby (review)

The Great Gatsby (review)
The Great Gatsby (review)
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THE PLAY: Taken from the classic novel about an enigmatic man, his frustrated passion and sociological issues from the 20s.


THE PRODUCTION: The dance number that opens this show is an awkward attempt to create the mood and style of the story. This uneven start effectively symbolizes the rest of the production. Some of it’s interesting, but lacks an overall flow and focus that would have made it more effective. As the titular tycoon, newcomer Kurt Smith’s comic hesitance adds a humorous element to his troubled character (bringing Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart to mind). As Daisy, Rachel Rose Gilmour has transplanted the delicate desperation of a Tennessee Williams character to her interpretation. Chandler Hubbard’s Nick Carraway creates a bland observer without much character growth. Returning to Richmond as director, Dr. Jan Powell has created some effective moments and attractive stage pictures, but hasn’t managed to give this show a cohesion that makes the social or romantic circumstances involving. It didn’t help that much of the action is played deep in the stage. Combine this with the fact that some of the actors couldn’t project effectively makes the dialogue even more challenging to follow. The set by Reed West consists of one revolving scenic element framed by billowing sheers and Tennessee Dixon’s projections, which are sometimes realistic and sometimes abstract, adding more mixed signals. Cora Delbridge has assembled some luxe dresses and elegant suiting, even though Gilmour’s dresses are sometimes unflattering. Running time: 1:45


THE POINT: Novels are challenging to turn into plays and this production hasn’t managed to capture the power, purpose or appeal of its namesake.


2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)


A Quill Theatre production at VMFA’s Leslie Cheek Theatre thru 3/22



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