note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey
Reviewed by Beverly Creasey
Once in a while you see a production which stays with you even though you've seen the play before. Boston Theatre Works' "Our Town" is one of these exceptional productions. Director Jason Southerland specializes in taut ensemble performances which make the material stand out in relief against a bare stage. Robert Pyzocha's elegantly simple panels with mirrored backdrop perfectly convey the sometimes hazy memory with which we view the past.
The remarkable cast is led by Bobbie Steinbach in a breathtaking performance as the stage manager. What Steinbach doesn't say --- and doesn't do --- speaks volumes. We feel every ounce of emotion in this tiny New Hampshire town. Southerland makes the action flow seamlessly by eliminating the act breaks --- and we feel the flow of life, right to its conclusion.
So many wonderful performances: Lindsay Joy as a spunky Emily --- the best performance of Emily I've ever seen; Scott Adams gives a deceptively simple, wonderfully naturalistic performance as Emily's beau; Jim Bodge is his wry father; Tom Lawler as the loyal milkman; John Furse as the kindly doc. Every character stands out as memorable.
I'd seen "Our Town" many times but this time I know what Wilder means by the "earth straining to make something of itself" : Don't miss your chance to see an "Our Twn" which won't leave the memory.