Melancholy Play, November 2010
On November 14, 2010 Lesley Ann Beck wrote a review of ‘Melancholy Play’ by Sarah Ruhl
Click here for full review
Sarah Ruhl’s enchanting Melancholy Play is anything BUT melancholy, especially in the delightfully funny new production from WAM Theatre. Under the deft hand of director Kristen van Ginhoven, the exceptional ensemble cast turns this magical fable of transformation into a memorable evening in the theater.
At the start of this “defense of melancholy,” Lorenzo, a man who was abandoned as an infant in a sweet shop in an “unspecified European city,” describes himself as “Lorenzo the unfeeling,” at least until he falls under the spell of the radiant, yet melancholy Tilly. Tilly is a bank teller sent to a therapist by her employer in an attempt to lift her sweetly sad demeanor; Lorenzo is her therapist. The lovely Betsy Holt is perfect as Tilly, charmingly sad and then radiantly happy; it’s clear why everyone who meets her is besotted. And Per Janson is terrific as a larger-than-life, mad, aloof, and then passionate Lorenzo.
The tale unfolds to the lovely strains of a cello, beautifully played from a corner of the stage by Erika Helen Smith as Julian; the original music is composed by Michael Roth.
The show, the first full-length production from WAM Theatre, is a joy. Kristen van Ginhoven and her marvelous cast have created a deeply satisfying production of a poignant, funny, sometimes hilarious, somewhat nutty play. This fine production bodes well for future presentations from this new company.
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