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entire contents copyright 2014 by Tony Annicone

"Veronica Meadows"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The latest show at Trinity Repertory Company's 50th season is the world premiere of resident actor Stephen Thorne's original play "Veronica Meadows".  The show follows the exploits of a Nancy Drew type detective, Veronica Meadows. This girl detective has been solving crimes for as long as anyone can remember. Time and time again, they stop the evil-doers in their tracks and save the day. That is until the day our plucky girl detective stops following the rules of the game and takes a dangerous turn into the unknown. Veronica and her trusty gal pal Ginny stay true to their motto: "Where secrets lie we snoop and spy. We sneak and peak all days of the week!" While their innocent world view has never changed, the years have continued to tick by and Veronica is no longer the sixteen year-old girl she once was. Director Michael Perlman takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of hilarity, danger and intrigue in Stephen Thorne's brilliant and thrilling script with a multitude of hair raising exploits that will please audiences of all ages. Together they create a modern masterpiece that can be savored and performed over and over again, proving that theater is alive and well not only on Broadway but right here in Rhode Island at Trinity Rep. Bravo!

Michael gives each of his talented performers their moments to shine in this well written play. Stephen's characters are multidimensional and his characters are well developed from start to finish. Gorgeous brunette Angela Brazil delivers a tour de force performance as Veronica. She begins as the young intrepid sleuth in the first act which opens with "The September Song". The audience follows her heroics and thinks it is going to be whimsical story with her crime solving ability. The song "As Time Goes By" closes this act crooned by Fred Sullivan Jr. However the second act starts with "Que Sera Sera" and a little while into it when she is searching through the garbage of a neighbor, the show takes a sudden dark turn that the audience doesn't see coming. Angela runs the gamut of emotions in this role. Her emotional breakdown in the second act is marvelous to behold as are her interactions with her fellow cast members. Brava!

Her sidekick is well played by Jennifer Laine Williams. She is a gorgeous red head and is the perfect comic foil for Veronica's exploits. Climbing the treehouse while tying her skirt up and being ready for every adventure until one dangerous one that gives her a wake up call, bringing her to reality. Company members Phyllis Kay, Brian McEleney, Fred Sullivan, Jr. and Joe Wilson, Jr. play multiple roles in this brand new mystery story. Brian is Veronica's grandfather called Pops who has many funny lines and later on plus the Gruff man who brings Veronica into the real world at last ruining her detective past fantasy world.  Joe plays Mr. Perkins and Veronica's husband, Peter. He has a fantastic dramatic scene in the second act when he explodes at Veronica's deluded view of a tragic circumstance, trying to finally make her understand the seriousness of the situation at hand. Fred plays the mayor in the first act who is always giving Veronica accolades on her accomplishments. In the second act Fred is a mysterious man who confronts Veronica, getting the tables turned on himself. This is Fred's 110th opening night and he delivers a marvelous performance as always. Phyllis is reminiscent of Tallulah Bankhead in the camp councilor scene where she is brandishing a pistol which goes off at an inopportune time. She also plays Veronica's boss,Barbara Bowdoin who has many comic moments barking out orders at Veronica and handles dark scene in the second act with ease. The cast is a bunch of well seasoned performers and they always bring their best to any and every show I have seen them in and this one is no exception. Stephen has many twists and turns in this story to keep you guessing to the final moments as to what happens. Unfortunately I'm not able to spill the beans under penalty of death by firing squad. So for a fantastic fun filled but thought provoking mystery show with fabulous acting, be sure to catch "Veronica Meadows" at Trinity Rep. Tell them Tony sent you.

"Veronica Meadows" (3 April - 4 May)
TRINITY REPERTORY THEATRE
@ 201 Washington Street, PROVIDENCE RI
1(401)351-4242

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