note: entire contents copyright 2005 by Beverly Creasey
They put blinders on horses so they won’t be spooked by traffic. In Pat Gabridge’s dramedy, called BLINDERS, everyone seems to have adjusted to wearing the figurative kind. Everyone, that is, except a bright young woman who sees the world for what it really is. She’s played to the hilt by Karen Woodward Massey.
Her modern day Cassandra finally comes to the sad “if-you-can’t-beat-‘em-join-‘em” conclusion but until then she is hounded from pillar to post. Even her husband (played with just the right amount of oil for a PR guy) throws in with the enemy.
Gabridge’s tongue in cheek indictment of conformity borrows the Danny DeVito-Arnold Schwartzenegger (or if you prefer the Corsican Brothers, Donald Sutherland-Gene Wilder) “twin” phenomenon…but Gabridge teeters briefly on an Ibsen fence, with Massey becoming an “Enemy Of the People” informing anyone who will listen that twins do NOT look alike.
The episodic nature of BLINDERS reminds me of Robert Altman’s NASHVILLE, especially the hilarious testimonies of locals. Maureen Keiller (our own “woman of a thousand faces”) is superbly straight faced as a humorless scientist, frightening as a born again protester and perfectly believable as a ruthless senator. In short, reason enough to see BLINDERS.
Steve Auger, too, gets to inhabit a zillion zany “everymen” as do Alisha Jansky and Rena Baskin. My faves are Jansky’s (none-too-steady in those spike heels) starlet and Baskin’s wacky “Fat Dominic.” Joe Zamparelli and Joshua Feldman are a scream as the unmatched twins in director Melissa Wentworth’s fast-paced production --- but the big stars of the show (Sorry, boys) are Jeanne MacLeman’s state of the art projections. They make the production look like a million bucks. Even the bios are a hoot and what’s not to like about a show with animal mascots!