Theatre Mirror Reviews - "More Than What"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2007 by Carl A. Rossi


a 7-play cycle by Janet Kenney
directed by Joe Antoun

Jack … Mike Dorval
Dave … Jeff Gill
Andrea … Ellen Adair
Melody … Sarah Augusta
Eve … Nikki O’Carroll
Stephie … Christine Power
Ruth … Donna Sorbello
Uncle Bob … Harold Withee

I caught Janet Kenney’s MORE THAN WHAT on its final night at the BCA and, hopefully, previous audiences will agree that Ms. Kenney had written a lovely play-cycle about a young couple’s wedding and the reactions/reflections of their families and friends, before and after. Playgoers, nowadays, are fed a diet of dark-and-edgy or socially relevant material which made MORE THAN WHAT’s intimate dramedy all the more delightful --- the phrase “dysfunctional family” never came to mind. How good to know that there are still flawed but decent people in today’s world and that Ms. Kenney had lovingly pinned them to a performing space and how, on the night I attended, the packed house welcomed the results with open arms.

Joe Antoun’s seamless direction enabled Ms. Kenney’s voice to ring softly but clearly, and his ensemble offered fresh, human shocks of recognition with fumbling affection, not neurosis, as its current. Jeff Gill continues to amaze me with his seemingly spontaneous but grounded style --- he could probably create a living, breathing world out of a phone book --- and Donna Sorbello, Boston’s loveliest tragedienne, made Mr. Gill’s dying ex-wife an exquisite study of fragility and acceptance. As the bride, Ellen Adair continues to bloom and is acquiring a built-in radiance that is rare in one so young; Ms. Adair’s final entrance in white pleaded an eloquent case as to why men marry women in the first place: to make these enchanting creatures their own. You simply had to be there --- were you?

"More Than What" (23 February - 10 March)
Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, BOSTON, MA
1 (617) 933-8600

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide