Theatre Mirror Reviews - "St. Nicholas"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

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note: entire contents copyright 1999 by Beverly Creasey


Critical Condition

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

If you equate critics with bloodsuckers, then this is the play for you. "St. Nicholas" by Conor McPherson is a wildly entertaining cautionary tale...bitingly funny, wickedly naughty.

Part campfire story, part morality lesson, "St. Nicholas" is practically lit from within. The Sugan Theatre's luminous production at the BCA stars Richard McElvain as a power-hungry reviewer. Under Carmel O'Reilly's canny direction, McElvain prowls the audience, skirting the edge of the stage as if he is afraid of the spotlight...as if he's stalking us, sizing us up.

McElvain is maniacal and pitiful...magnificently creepy like a man standing outside himself, wanting back in. McElvain's critic is detached, eerily distant --- yet he projects the immediacy of a recent religious convert, eager to see us saved.

Standing alone in Michael Griggs' bare set (One chair and some weatherbeaten posts focus us firmly on McElvain) this despicable man holds us spellbound, fascinated, hungry even, for his desperate story...and McElvain carries the one-man play like a Titan.


"St.Nicholas" (till 2 October)
SUGAN THEATRE COMPANY
Boston Center for The Arts, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON
1(617) 426-2787

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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