Sunday, June 10, 2012

Slowgirl ***

(Please click the title to see the complete review.)
LCT3 inaugurates its new Claire Tow Theater, built atop the Vivian Beaumont, with this new play by Greg Pierce. Becky (Sarah Steele) is a 17-year-old extrovert who leaves no unfiltered thought go unspoken. Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek) is her reclusive uncle who lives in a remote home in the Costa Rican jungle. Becky, fleeing the horrible consequences of a cruel prank against a developmentally challenged classmate, is visiting him for a week. Several years earlier, Sterling fled the United States for reasons that are gradually revealed. Although they had not seen each other in nine years, their shared alienation forges a bond as the week progresses. There are some awkward plot points and too many long pregnant pauses, but the play held my interest. Steele, who had impressed me in Russian Transport earlier this season, is quite good. Ivanek is fine in a much less showy role. The sets by Rachel Hauck are evocative, effective and technically impressive. Emily Rebholz's costumes are appropriate to the characters. Anne Kauffman's direction could use a little more energy. Running time: 95 minutes without intermission.

The Claire Tow Theater is a welcome addition to the local theater scene. A simple but elegant black box with 131 comfortable red plush seats, it has a lovely terrace overlooking the newly green roof of the Beaumont. All tickets are only $20.

WIth LCT3, Lincoln Center Theater is "reaching out to younger and more ethnically diverse audiences."  I assume their decision not to market Slowgirl to LCT members was part of this plan. Judging from this afternoon's audience, they are not reaching that goal. I was shocked that the theater was half-empty. I think they need a new marketing plan.

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