Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Amy's View"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2002 by Tony Annicone

"Amy's View"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Players latest show is the British drama, "Amy's View" by David Hare. This production is about the sixteen year relationship between a mother and her daughter. Amy, the daughter, views life with love conquering all obstacles and being unconditional. She wants her mother and husband to get along because she loves them both. The show is about Amy's struggle to mend the rift between the people she holds closest to her heart. Director Lynne Collinson handles this script with the needed dramatic and comic moments to make this play flow along to a conclusion filled with hope for the future.

Lynne fleshs out the characters by casting very talented people in these roles. The problem between Esme, the mother, and Dominic, her son-in-law is shown clearly from the start of the show. Esme is a grand dame of the theatre and Dominic is a movie crictic who feels theatre isn't relevant to people his age. The situation worsens as the years go by and Amy's view on life is thwarted constantly until the last scene when Dominic finally attends a theatre production. He tries to mend things with Esme. The audience is left with the symbolic cleansing by water. It is poured over Esme to prepare her for the shipwreck show, she is currently appearing in. This leaves you with the hope of Esme finally accepting Amy's view on life.

Trisha McManus plays the demanding role of Esme. Esme is a perfectionist on the theatre but muddles up her real life with bad investments and being stubborn and unbending with her family. Trish captures the true essence of this lady of the theatre and she brings great strength to her scenes with the other cast members. She does a wonderful job in her portrayal of this unlikeable and overbearing character by making you feel her pain at how she handles her life during all these years.

The role of Amy is played beautifully by Kathleen Oliverio. She shows Amy's idealism at the start of the show and displays her growth during the other scenes especially when she stands up to her strong willed mother. Kathleen delivers the right emotions needed in her scenes with her husband including a bantering tone at the beginning and the dramatic one while commenting on the decay of their marital bliss. She is a joy to watch as Amy, delivering an excellent performance throughout the play.

Mike Zola plays the priggish husband, Dominic. The author assigns his character an unlikeable behavior concerning movies versuing theatre lines. Mike rises above the lines assigned to Dominic including one about the death of the theatre. He shows the growth and changes in the character's personality from start to finish. The warmth and the superior behavior comes through showing Mike's talent. He handles this role with ease.

The biggest scene stealer in this show is Marilyn Murphy Meardon as Evelyn, the grandmother. She enters the scene like a whirlwind, delivers her funny oneliners, then exits as quickly as she enters. Marilyn's delivery is priceless and she will leave you laughing out loud. As the show progresses her role turns more serious but the comic gems will remain with you. Another role that starts out with a lot of humor is Frank, a neighbor, who turns into Esme's suitor and later her investor at Lloyd's of London, is played by Tom Oakes. He plays the jovial man who loves to drink after seeing a play and later on shows remorse when Amy finds out he has lost Esme's money in some bad deals. Tom handles the transitions well. Last but not least is the talented, Gerard Marzilli who appears in last scene of the play. His character, Toby is appearing with Esme in a play about being shipwrecked. Gerard is a talented young man who is off to California in May. He proves he has what it takes in his performances.

Lynne is aided in her task by stage manager, Marcia Layden who keeps things running smoothly backstage, by Tom Norton who designed a fantastic, opulent set with authentic looking marble columns and by lighting designers, Scott and Kristen Davis who make the lights look like they are being seen through leaves, giving it the country atmosphere needed. To join Lynne and other members of this theatre club, give Lydia Matteson a call for further information and tickets to this superb show.

"Amy's View" (till 24 March)
THE PLAYERS
Barker Playhouse, 400 Benefit Street, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
1 (401) 273-0590

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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