Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Trad"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2010 by Rachel Galent


by Rachel Galent

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 13:51:36 -0400
Subject: Re: Trad

I went to “Trad” the other night wondering how a play about a 150 year old man, his 100 year old son, a 150 year old woman, and a priest trying to come to terms with today’s world could possibly work. Well, take Nancy Carroll, Colin Hamell, and Billy Meleady, directed by Carmel O’Reilly and you’ve got not only an evening’s entertainment, but one that functions on many delightful levels.

You’ll find yourself laughing within the first five minutes, as Colin Hamell, his upper body poised at a 90 degree angle to his legs, stands over his da trying to awaken him with slowly, rhythmically repeated “da”s, done exactly the way a two year old would try to awaken a sleeping adult. Once Billy Meleady (as da) awakens, you’re off to the races --- well, off to the races as fast as one one-armed and one one-legged centenarians can run. As the father and son travel to try to locate the Son’s son, the banter between father and son ranges from jest to Jesus.

John Malinowski’s lighting and J Michael Griggs’s set allow the audience’s imagination to travel through the Irish countryside ---represented at the BCA's black box by a few planks and boards painted brown or black, yet minimally and cleverly arranged --- as the two characters try to locate their legacy. Morgan Evans-Weiler and Chad Kirchner’s music places you squarely in Ireland, and sometimes even in the middle of a river.

Billy Meleady and Colin Hamell's characters play off each other with crispy freshness, while Nancy Carroll plays Father Rice to mesmerizing perfection. At times the play borders on sketch comedy, but the players still dig into the depth of father-son relationships, life and death, and the battiness of folks who have lived too long very well.

Trad runs until April 24th--don't miss it.

"Trad" (8 - 24 April)
@ Boston Center for The Arts, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide