Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Rainbow Chaser"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Carl A. Rossi


written and directed by Todd Michael Hall

Glinda / Scarecrow … Sudarshan Bélsaré
Henry (Puppet) / Lion … Colin Buckley
Scott / Little Scott … Patrick Connolly
Munchkin Mayor … Todd M. Hall
Witch … Mark Hetherington
Emerald Citizen … Trish Palmiere
Em (Puppet) … Ashley Randele
Flying Monkey / Jane … Nicole Delessert Shields
Tinman … Deirdre Wade

‘Tis tricky to dramatize one’s own self,
Especially when doing it in verse:
The poet’s tools by nature be lyrical,
The playwright’s tools: dramatic.
Too often, when poets take to the stage
The results are gliding, dreamy, soft
Lacking character, tension --- DRAMA!
The words not bothering to leave the page.
Todd Michael Hall’s RAINBOW CHASER,
Soon ending its run at the BCA,
Is gliding, dreamy, soft
Lacking character, tension --- DRAMA!

Mr. Hall tells of Scott, a gay young man,
Simply trying to live his own life.
(“Scott, the main character, is really me,
I really lived about 80% of this play.”)
Using the classic WIZARD OF OZ
As springboard and as inspiration,
Scott escapes from Kansas (here, Vermont)
And heads for Emerald City (here, Boston)
Meeting Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Witch,
All of them, all of them waiting for Love
Waiting, not looking, for all is passive
From start to finish, blanketed soft
Sealed off from Reality’s ruthless horns
Even flashbacks of the Holocaust
(The Holocaust by way of BENT)
Are soothed by Mr. Hall’s gentle hand.

Mr. Hall the poet says nothing new
That hasn’t been said about being gay
All is safe, all is dull, all is safe
One longs to scream out during the evening,
“Give me something TERRIBLE,
As long as there be Life in it!”
For Scott and his friends are words, nothing more.
The production is painful to gaze upon,
Yet ‘t would be heartless to smash this butterfly ---
A voice that has been silenced can never learn to speak ---
RAINBOW CHASER is at best Reader’s Theatre,
May it find its pot o’ gold elsewhere.
May Mr. Hall continue to write and to soar
Away from the lyric and towards the dramatic
Verse, yes, but DRAMATIC verse.
What was good for the Bard is good for all.

"Rainbow Chaser" (7 February-1 March)
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, BOSTON, MA
1 (617) 426-2787

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide