Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Vandal ***

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Actor Hamish Linklater's (School for Lies, Seminar) debut effort as a playwright is now at The Flea Theater. Deirdre O'Connell (Circle Mirror Transformation, In the Wake) plays a withdrawn woman waiting for a bus at a stop in Kingston, NY near a hospital and a cemetery. Noah Robbins (The Twenty-Seventh Man) portrays a loquacious, philosophical 17-year old boy who pesters her until she agrees to buy him beer at a nearby liquor store. The somewhat menacing man who owns the liquor store, played by Zach Grenier (33 Variations, The Good Wife), claims to be the boy's father. In each of four scenes in which the characters exchange self-protective lies, the woman appears with either the boy or the man. There is a big reveal near the end that changes your understanding of all that has preceded. The actors are all top-notch and the dialog flows effortlessly. Clearly Linklater has a love of words and a talent for giving actors a chance to shine. A lengthy monologue in praise of Cool Ranch Doritos may not sound enticing, but it drew applause. The set by David M. Barber is modest, but efficient. Claudia Brown's costumes are fine. Jim Simpson's direction is smooth. The play seems a bit slight and the ending a bit flat. Nevertheless, Linklater shows a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing his next effort. Running time: 75 minutes.

No comments: