The Players second show of their 102nd season is "The Seafarer" by Conor McPherson. The title of this play alludes both to the great Anglo-Saxon poem and to Sharky with the poem being an example of a story of a journey whose hardships were meant to provide both a spiritual test and a life lesson.The show takes place on Christmas Eve and is about two Irish brothers, their two best friends playing a poker game with a mysterious stranger. The currently unemployed James "Sharky" Harkin has tried his hand as a fisherman, a van driver and a chauffeur but currently has his hands full taking care of his older brother Richard, who recently was blinded from a fall into a dumpster on Halloween. Neither of the brothers has been married, although Sharky was recently fired for having an affair with his boss's wife. Sharky has been on the wagon for two days, the cause of his moping around. He's also trying to get the bossy and ornery Richard to clean himself up for Christmas. His friend Nicky shows up with the well-dressed Mr.Lockhart who the audience discovers has a 25 year old debt to settle with Sharky. Sharky makes us care what happens to him when he is threatened by this strange man during the card game. Director Jeff Sullivan casts these 5 roles beautifully and obtains stunning performances from them, giving each of them their moment to shine.
Jeff's cast has splendid Irish brogues and gives his cast many comic moments in their drunken stupors and ramblings. He is aided in his task by his hard working stage manager, Bonnie Sullivan. Ruth Fagan does the lighting for the show while the beautiful set is by Jeff. The most impressive lighting is the red light during the revelation sequences. The peeling wallpaper in this Irish home is the perfect touch. The numerous props are handled by Carole Collins and Lauren Odenwalder and Lauren also made the costumes and decorated the set. Sharky and Ivan have caused some deaths while under the influence which we find out as the show goes on. Sharky is also upset that Nick is now living with his girl friend Eileen. They add to the suspense of this show. James Brown is topnotch as Sharky. The character has given up drinking and when he is egged on by Mr. Lockhart takes a drink and disrupts the card game. Jim's brogue is wonderful as is his comic timing. His hang dog expressions after Lockhart's threat is perfect obtaining empathy for Sharky's dilemma. His older brother is played by David Adams Murphy who has many funny one liners including "What is this a fucking credit union?" He is impressive in this role of the curmudgeon with his enormous amount of dialogue. Richard demands Sharky and Ivan wait on him hand and foot due to his blindness. Their constant running outdoors to fight with the winos is humorous.
Dennis Bouchard is a hoot as Ivan, the near sighted drunk who fell asleep on the rug upstairs from the previous night's drunken party. Ivan can't find his glasses, ticks off his wife who threw him out of the house for ignoring her at a store and can't remember where he parked his car. Dennis also delivers the goods when there is a serious discussion of a fire that affected the Murdock and Cavanaugh families. A final surprise comes to the audience when he finally finds his glasses. The most impressive performance in this show is Peter Kerwin as the mysterious Mr. Lockhart. He scares the crap out of the audience in this role. He if very subtle till his true identity is revealed. Peter delivers a dynamite monologue in the second act while bathed in red light. He mesmerizes the audience with his acting prowess in this role. Last but not least is Alberto Rizzotti who plays Nicky who stole Sharky's girl. He wears a leather jacket from Versace and constantly swills down beer and makes stupid bets during the game. The group laughing scene in the second act is very well done. Many twists and turns add to the suspense and humor of this tale. Some salty language is in the show so it is recommended for mature audiences. So for a look at a contemporary play, be sure to catch "The Seafarer". To join this theatre club just give Lydia a call.