|The Adobe Theater's choice of
Michael Cristofer's "The Shadow Box" is an interesting
one as a post-holiday production.
On the one hand, it's about terminal patients and the wintry,
bleak moments they and their friends and family must endure; on
the other hand, as
the days lengthen and new roots stir under the earth, it's
about death as a rebirth, a beginning, as well as an ending.
SB is a trilogy, with three stories in three cottages on the
grounds of a "large hospital in (pre-AIDS) 1977."
The first cottage houses Joe (Tom Monahan), who is dying; his
wife, Maggie (Erin Moody); and their son Stephen (Simon -Blair),
who hasn't been told that his father is dying.
Brian (Darren Pierrot) inhabits the center cottage. His
lover, Mark (Mark Pino), starts out whiny, sulky and annoying,
as if he were the only victim in this tragedy; then Brian's
ex-wife, Beverly (Marcia Tippit), swishes in acting like Sally
Bowles in "Cabaret." Mark does not like her.
The third cottage is home to an older woman in a wheelchair.
Felicity (Doris Vander Putten) is with her grown
||daughter Agnes (Connie McElyea),
who is not the favored child but is the child who is there.
Acting generally gets the first mention in a review, and good
as the acting is here, it is Dawn Mullins' superb set deserves
first mention this time.
Each cottage has its own personality, from the trellised
flowers at the door of Joe's cottage to the simple gingham of
Felicity's and Brian's in the middle, bright red, with a
unfurled fan on the wall and an orange lava lamp center stage.
|If you go
WHAT: "The Shadow Box" by Michael
Cristofer, directed by Robert Johnson
WHEN: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at
2 p.m., I through Jan. 28
WHERE: The Adobe Theater, 9813 Fourth NW, two
blocks north of Alameda
HOW MUCH: tickets are available at the theater
for $10, students and seniors, $8: For information and
reservations, call 898-9222
The acting? Fine all around, with special mention due to
young Simon Blair as Stephen who has a guitar piece for his dad
"that's not that good but not that bad, either," and
to Tippet, who never looked more glamorous and never inhabited a
character with more confidence.
Director Robert Johnson gets praise for the invisibility of
his work -- that's good directing.