{\rtf1\ansi\deff0\deftab720{\fonttbl{\f0\fswiss MS Sans Serif;}{\f1\froman\fcharset2 Symbol;}{\f2\fmodern Courier New;}} {\colortbl\red0\green0\blue0;} \deflang1033\pard\plain\f2\fs20 \par \par \par Theatre Mirror Reviews - "On The Verge" \par \par \par \par

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide \par

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

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Reviews of Current Productions

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note: entire contents copyright 2000 by Chuck Galle

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"On The Verge"

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\par Reviewed by Chuck Galle

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\par \par For just plain fast and witty, erudite, intriguing, clever, nifty, head shaking, wry, unusual and entertaining all in one it would be hard to beat On The Verge by Eric Overmeyer currently knocking them dead as they say at Players\'b9 Ring Theater in Portsmouth NH. Casted up with three high energy live wire ladies in the persons of Peggi McCarthy, Kristan Raymond Robinson and Nickie Sugana Fuller and one very wide range guy, Tom Olson this show is razzle dazzle from lights up to curtain call. Add in the deft direction of Michael Gillett, the superb technical support from Betsy Kimball, Susan Turner, Paul Shoop, Rachel M.C. Burr and Cary Wendell, costumes by Barbara Newton and this show is a just plain old fashioned smasharoonie hit. \par

\par Watching this show reminded me very much of the hours of mind tickle I got from reading the works of John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, Tom Wolfe Henry Miller, James Joyce and the like. Overmeyer\'b9s language is sparklingly poetic, wryly insightful, cleverly erudite. Tossed into the hopper are fragments of particle physics, theological conundra, political dichotomies, philosophical absurdities, societal anomalies, social hypocrisies, subtle bawdy witticisms and the various other flotsam and jetsam of high American English literature. Here\'b9s a sample of words and ideas, just grabbed out of context you\'b9ll hear rhymed, spoken, elaborated upon, played with, played on, just plain played in this play: quotidian, Origami, saffron, yak butter, waltz wheeling, hippopotamus poking, omphallic, lugubrious, regulated undergrowth, armadillo knuckles, candied cat\'b9s eyes, grubb grub, Kuala Lumpur, seraglio, dirigible, amicable cannibal, tonic for a catarrh, somnambulist, echolalia, lactating minuet, prisoner in a kaleidoscope, troll toll, absorbing the future by osmosis, imbued with the future, residue from the future, fallout from the future, the future is not arevolving door!!! \par

\par Three educated, traveled women who have associations with the Explorer\'b9s Club, in 1888 set off to explore an imaginary island called Terra Incognito, somewhere in between Australia and Africa. In proper garb and carrying well provendered knapsacks they hike, climb, chop and discourse their incredible way through thirteen scenes that bring them into the mid 1900\'b9s in a time space continuum which is created on stage before your very eyes. Along the way they discover artifacts from the future which tip the audience off to what they, of course, slowly wise up to: they are passing their familiar universe by faster than it can unfold "naturally". I found it interesting to note that although the subject is time I was completely unaware of the passage of time as these delightful ladies carried me into the future, which for two and a half hours was resoundingly right now. \par

\par Peggi McCarthy, feisty as a wet tarantula, plays the elder Mary, sociologist, warehouse of useless and useful information about the mating habits of just about anything that mates and the mores of even more societies than there are. Kristan Raymond Robinson, who does more serious acting with her eyes than many actors do with an entire roll, plays Fanny, the diligent correspondent to her husband; who eventually, of course, cannot receive letters (to hell with how they might be mailed - this is an imaginary world, remember?) Watch Fanny in 1955 evolve from mildly curious "good sport" who allows Nicky Paradise to teach her mid twentieth century dancing into a stomp down, groin grinding, eye flashing libertine - it\'b9s a stomp down riot. Nickie Sugana Fuller is the 19th C-time virgin, all expectant, hopeful, watchful; ready to try anything if it would only come along to try. Be careful if you sit near the edge of the stage, if you fall into these eyes you\'b9ll never get back to the twenty-first century. And she let\'b9s you know who wears the pants in her family! This guy Tom Olson, who plays Grover, Alphonse, Nicky Paradise and some guys identified as etc has the utterly enviable job of being the guy who plays . . . oh, but I just said that didn't I? Olson is certainly at home with his range which includes dialects, suavity, abomination, husbandry and fine comic timing. \par

\par Director Gillett has wisely enhanced the sense of intimacy for his Players Ring audience by giving his stage crew adequate lighting in which to accomplish several marvelously complex settings in record time. We see the machinations that go into putting the bridge across the ice floe into place, and making the awkward looking double L ladder that adorns the first three or four scenes disappear. Instead of sitting in the dark waiting for who knows what we get to see theater in action and it is good to see. A complex lighting and sound script, executed with precision round out anentirely profession production. \par

\par Give yourself a treat this weekend and get yourself into Player\'b9s Ring in Portsmouth NH at 8:00 PM Friday or Saturday or 7:00 PM Sunday. Call them at 603-436-8123 for reservations. \par \par \par \par \par \par


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"On The Verge" (till 19 November) \par
PLAYERS' RING THEATRE \par
105 Marcy Street, PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE \par
1(603)36-8123 \par \par \par
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THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide \par

| \par MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | \par INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |


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