Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Dark Play, or Stories for Boys"

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note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Larry Stark

"Dark Play, or Stories for Boys"

by Carlos Murillo
Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques

Set Design by Julia Noulin-Merat
ASM Boards by Carol Bortman & Alain Groene
Costume Design by Paul John Carli
Sound Design by Aaron Mack
Technical Director Mark DiGiovanni
Stage Manager Paul S. Benford-Bruce

Nick..................Erez Rose
Molly/Rachel...Christine Busler
Male Netizen........Brian Quint
Adam................Mark Vashro
Female Netizen...Lorna Nogueira

Erez Rose as Nick begins Carlos Murillo's neatly-crafted play admitting with a self-satisfied smile "I make shit up" --- and disparaging people, including his best friend (Mark Vashro) for their high "Gullibility Quotient". An explanation of why he has several scars below his navel turns, very subtly, on a series of "people" he invented in an Internet Chat-Room that Murillo's play brings to life on-stage --- with the help of Director Danielle Fauteux Jacques and an excellent young cast. The play deals graphically and realistically with the language and situations that contemporary late-teenagers handle without a blush; more mature audiences however may find less art here than I did.

Christine Busler, Brian Quint, and Lorna Noguiera each play several characters, most of them fantasies created by Nick to dazzle his beguiled friend, but some of them real. It's a credit to their acting that whichever of these worlds they inhabit, they all feel solidly, plausibly real --- chillingly real in the case of one of Quint's creations.

Frankly, to say much more would be to damage the effect of seeing the show cold. Tight lighting and bubbly lighting-effects (Carol Bortman & Alain Groene) and sound design (Aaron Mack) move the action in and out of reality, and there are "flash-forward" effects that enigmatically predict actions before they happen. Not until repetition of the very first line at the end of the play does everything make sense. This is a continually surprising, original play, done well --- done, in other words, as Apollinaire Theatre Company does everything.

( a k a larry stark )

"Dark Play, or Stories for Boys" (20 February - 22 March)
@ Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet Street, CHELSEA MA
1 (617)-887-2336

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide