Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Quills"
"What Happened in Boston, Willie"
Reviews of Current Productions
note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Beverly Creasey
From The Subliminal To The Ridiculous
in Central Square
Reviews by Beverly Creasey
NO FRILLS QUILLS
Doug Wright’s decorated drama, QUILLS, about the Marquis de Sade and his tormentors, is getting a thorough going over by Bad Habit Productions (at the Cambridge Y through August 8th). Wright’s clever diatribe on the nature of evil doers doing what they do “in the name of goodness” takes a heck of a long time to get somewhere. When it does, in Act II, and especially at the surreal ending, it’s worth the torturous route.
The men fare better than the women in director Daniel Morris’ production---mostly because the Y space is cavernous and the female voice tends to be swallowed up so a good deal of the dialogue doesn’t reach the audience under the balcony overhang. Happily, Timothy Otte and Eric Hamel as the philosophical duelists, have strong voices---and even stronger acting skills. Otte’s tour de force as the joyously self-obsessed de Sade is reason alone to see the play. Hamel as his (self) righteous nemesis gives a chilling performance as we witness the monstrous cost of a cure.
QUILLS is not a play for the faint of heart as the playwright parades horror after horror before us, heaping cruelty upon cruelty to make his point. Kudos to Bad Habit Productions for taking on such a daunting drama.
SPILLS AND FRILLS Just Down the Street
If you attend a lot of theater, you’ve probably seen a production or two of IRMA VEP. The plot is awful (on purpose). The puns are shameless and the result is delightful because two actors play all the characters, male and female, changing costumes with lightening speed. If VEP is your cup of tea, then you’ll probably find THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (at the Central Sq. Theatre thru Aug. 22nd) just as silly. In the Sherlock Holmes story (which bears little resemblance to the A.C. Doyle version) three actors portray Holmes, Watson and the entire village of Baskervilles, including the hound.
Steven Canny and John Nicholson’s wild and wooly send-up of the master of deduction runs out of steam (for me, that is) a scene or two before it ends. Until then, I was giggling aplenty at Remo Airaldi’s flirtatious femme fatale (not to mention his hilarious Holmes), at Bill Mootos’ deliciously dim Dr. Watson and at Trent Mills’ totally smitten (by a tango dancing Airaldi) Sir Henry. Thomas Derrah directs with his funny-bone, dispensing, if not “high levels of theatrical tension,” generous levels of theatrical hilarity.
"Quills" (29 July - 8 August)
BAD HABIT PRODUCTIONS
@ Durrell Theatre @ Cambridge YMCA< 820 Massachusetts Avenue, CAMBRIDGE MA
"The Hound of The Baskervilles" (22 July - 22 August)
UNDERGROUND RAILWAY THEATRE
@ Central Square Theatre, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, CAMBRIDGE MA