note: entire contents copyright 2004 by G. L. Horton
Anybody concerned with the creative side of the theatre-- actors, directors, writers-- should hurry to see the Sugan production of Owen McCafferty's Mojo Mickybo before it closes. The acting/staging technique is basically the one employed by Story Theatre for more than a generation (if not for 1000's of years) wherein an actor alternates between narration and impersonation while playing a wide range of characters in terms of age, sex, accent, et. all. Most theatre-goers have seen plays that employ this technique before-- Stones In His Pocket is a well known example, a play written at the same time as Mojo/Mickybo, and also for a pair of Irish touring actors; Zimmerman's Metamorphosis, Yellowman at the New Rep... But often area productions are more like skits than plays, bits and pieces of characterization that at best make a point but more often just don't work. The range, depth, and speed demonstrated by Meleady and Hamell in O'Reilly's production amounts to something new in Boston. They are proving that "we" can do this, and that it works miraculously-- it can convey tragedy as well as satire or pathos. It's as if local painters have been given access to a new color, or composers a new instrument.
Geralyn Horton, playwright