Gossip Lady behind the scenes at seacoast arts and culture hot-spots.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The Perfect Form: Urinetown
Greetings Gossip Lovers,
Anyone that's seen my smiling visage since last night knows well what this entry is about because I simply can't stop talking about IT. What has that silly grin simply plastered on my face is the Seacoast Repertory Theatre's production of "Urinetown, the Musical."
I've avoided crossing this line till now, but for this instance I will. To do this show justice I've summon the spirit of that that McCartin Woman - my FRIENDLY gossip rival - to address the matter. Don't ask me how it's done, it involves a crystal ball, candles, a bribe and chant- but it's worth it to get her insight.
And the word is: according to that former decade-long theater reviewer for the Portsmouth Herald - this production hits the TOP 10 productions, if not top five (the reception was fuzzy) of the past decade.
I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with her this time.
The script - like all is a matter of taste, but it's unquestionably entertaining. I found the longer you sit with it the more sense and more profound its superciliousness becomes. Yes, I liked it.
But the production!? (Imagine me looking to the sky and slapping a white gloved hand to my chest). Just exquisite! Every single, solitary element of it. The set, costuming, lighting, props, music, every detail is unequivocally spot on. Nothing smacks of community theater here folks.
Now the acting.
Where do I start. Well, let me say it's such a strong ensemble piece I don't want to single any one person out, (Tommy Labanaris, Megan Quinn, Christine Dulong), because I think that would be doing the show an injustice,(Chris and Jamie Bradley and Merrill Peiffer), and that's the last thing I would want to do.
I suppose you've noticed those few names in the previous paragraph set off by parenthesise. Well, once you channel a person it's not easy to discontinue the connection, and that McCartin woman won't be contained. Sorry.
But let me say this - there are 19 performers in this production and I wouldn't remove a one. They all deserve to be mentioned. It is the strongest vocal, acting and dance collective I've witnessed in years - so says that OTHER woman as well.
And direction! (Imagine another slap to the chest and eyes cast skyward), simply heavenly. Kudos Mr.Bill Humphreys. Return soon!
Choreography? Also heavenly! So, Adrienne Maitland, hurry back.
Music? - Ah Kathy Fink and crew, you've done it again. Magnifico. And don't we just love a live band. (Great work Mr. Paul Erwin Musical Director).
Rob Sullin & Jillian Mitchell LOVE your set design, LOVE IT. Matt Guminski - your lighting? Special. Lauri Gagnon's props. Tops, (and disgusting).
Okay, so that's what you get when you channel a former theater reviewer. It's hard to put a lid on it. But then, I really don't care to. That's the thing about outstanding art, you just want to go on and on about it. To Pee or not to Pee is the question the play poses. The answer I'm giving is to BE there and SEE for yourself. Killer theater folks.
Yours in the elation of great art Gossip Lady PHOTO GALLERY Top photo: Show shot taken by deck crew, from "inside the sewer" (or backstage). Woman alone: Merrill Peiffer - could you die for that hair doo?! (thanks Chris Bradley for the behind the scene shot)!
Next series: performers emerging in the midday sun, Saturday, between shows. First: Jennifer Sue Mallard, Miles Burns, Merrill Peiffer, sans pomp Second: the "Brothers Bradley" Third: a duo demonstrating their exhaustion Megan Quinn and Christine Dulong Fourth: a trio of guys demonstrating being guys Tobin Moss, Andrew Bridges, Dan Beaulieu