Monday, April 21, 2008

Non-Chicago Theatre: Denver

The Lieutenant of Inishmore
Curious Theatre
Denver, Colorado

It is nice to see theatre outside of Chicago. I was very happy with the venue we choose and the company we went to see. Curious Theatre just finalized the deal on their theatre which resides in a converted church. In the preshow announcement they were very happy to share that they would be installing brand new seating as soon as the show closed on Sunday. The ten-year-old theatre was well attended by all age denominations on a Thursday night. The audience was very theatre savvy and laughed heartily at the dark comedy.

The performances were strong all around. The review in the Denver Post was somewhat critical of the accents and the effectiveness of the stage design. I would disagree; the design was very practical and did not detract from the staging at all. At one or two points when the actors yelled their accents became hard to follow, but the intention was never muddied.

In the end, the script itself could not live up to this production. The pacing is slow at times and the dialogue is slapstick at best. I found myself thinking, at times, that the point of the play is almost to put as much blood and gore on stage as possible, and the justification leading up to it is not enough of a story to hang a play on.

I give Curious Theatre kudos for their execution of this script. It is a gutsy choice for their season and I hope did well for them in their box office. Their execution of this script was very impressive and I would be interested to see them produce a show with a more meaningful plot.

Sadly, the best performance of the night, however, had to be from Wee Thomas, the cat. I have never seen a cat more calm and collected than this cat. From the moment he entered, he held the audience mesmerised. He truly stole the show as animals on-stage will always do.

Happy Birthday: Patti LuPone (1949)

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