Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Moonchildren"

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note: entire contents copyright 2006 by Larry Stark


by Michael Weller
Directed by Emil Kreymer

Technical Director David Lucas
Costumes by Zoe Weingart
Assistant Director Nichole Ward
Stage Manager Christine Talaid

Norman.........Michael DiLoreto
Cootie.......Keith E. Survillas
Mike................Dawson Hill
Ruth.............Laura DeCesare
Dick..................Mike Bash
Kathy..............Zoe Weingart
Bob......George Psinakis Rausch
Ralph...........Michael Corbett
Mr. Willis.......Louis Pasquale
Lucky..........Dan Schuettinger
Shelley..........Rebecca Loveys
Uncle Murray...Shay Fitzpatrick
Bream.........Alyssa Jayne Hale
Effing.........John Taoultsides
Milkman.........Mark Pappalardo

When was the last time you saw a non-musical show on a Boston stage with Fifteen Named Characters and No Doubling? Zeropoint Productions' Director Emil Kreymer is a brave man, who mis-matched such a cast with wildly differing experience and backgrounds --- and ended up with a solid ensemble and a hilarious play. Michael Weller's "Moonchildren" --- set specifically in the final school semester of 1969 --- deals with late-adolescent posturing, send-ups, put-ons and practical jokes, with the Vietnam War as a gingerly unspoken subtext. Yet the cast, who are the right ages, gets the atmosphere, the hidden angst, and the bubbly about-to-graduate experience.

Here Keith E. Survillas and Dawson Hill play a pair of brothers ready to improvise an elaborate lie or a cruel joke at the drop of a situation. Michael DiLoreto plays the math-grad-student butt of their best jokes, and Rebecca Loveys is the flower-child he picks up at a protest rally, who has been sitting under tables lately blowing bubbles. Zoe Weingart (who also did the costumes) is the girl who can't decide which of two serious-sided guys (Mike Bash or George Psinakis Rausch) to sleep with/stay with, while Laura DeCesare merely enters into the dance for the fun of it.

That's the student commedia-crew, but Playwright Weller tosses them an outsider from time to time: Michael Corbett walks on as a student from another college trying (badly) to sell then encyclopedias, and Shay Fitzpatrick is an Uncle Murray bringing one of their number bad family news; their landlord, who compliments/envies them is Louis Pasquale while their Super is Dan Schuettinger, who manages to look like he has a beer in his fist. And what collection of room-mate/students could be complete without Alyssa Jayne Hale and John Taoultsides playing a pair of cops investigating complaints of occasional nudity --- or Mark Pappalardo's Milkman?

Some of these haven't been on a stage in years, one or two are fresh from theatre-school, some have lengthy resumees --- and they work together like seasoned professionals, all.

Weller's play is a slice of past life, when dousing yourself with gasoline and setting a match to it could seem like a healthy anti-war gesture --- if you had a different set of room-mates than these.
La plus change, la plus la meme damn chose, right? Who would have believed this sharply subtext-ed comedy could become so terribly relevent all over again? Love, ===Anon. ( a k a larry stark )

"Moonchildren" (10 - 18 March)
@ Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre, 820 Massachusetts Avenue, CAMBRIDGE MA
1 (781)738-5988

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