A boy’s life

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 21, 2006

The playwright has also adapted Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, as well as Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Emile Zola’s The Prisoner of Zenda, and Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, all which he staged at the theater in Greenwich, England, where he was artistic director in the 1990s. This Dickens adaptation hasn’t received any prominent productions, presumably because its brief length confines it to being more a pastiche of scenes from the novel than a fully amplified piece of theater. More often than not, as soon as we get interested in a character, he or she is whisked away, the momentum of understanding — and empathy — broken until a next brief appearance. Obviously, another disadvantage is going to be audience confusion, to some extent, as we are asked to keep track of so many individuals and relationships in so short a time without a blackboard diagram or spreadsheet.

Nevertheless, the gang at 2nd Story Theatre give us plenty to enjoy. Costumes by Ron Cesario and lighting design by Ron Allen well maintain our sense of place in the proper moods. Director Richardson, whom we usually see drawling through marvelously timed comic roles at the theater, has stitched together this series of set pieces and transition scenes quite entertainingly.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: Vietnam and Victoriana, Fagin’s follies, A stellar Scrooge, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Jane Austen, Emile Zola, Charles Dickens,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY BILL RODRIGUEZ
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   A SO-SO SATIRE  |  July 02, 2014
    There’s this poor country whose medium of exchange is goats (actually, promises of parts of a goat — promissory goats).
  •   PROFOUNDLY SILLY  |  June 25, 2014
    It’s been more than a half-century since Eugène Ionesco’s first play, The Bald Soprano , was written in a burst of splenetic post-WWII exasperation over the ludicrous behavior of his species.
  •   TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY  |  June 18, 2014
    It doesn’t hurt that Angels In America is, in several regards, the greatest American play ever written.
  •   PUNCHING THE CLOCK  |  June 18, 2014
    We come into the world, we rub our eyes, we look around and squall, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out why we had to bother.
  •   MEETING OF THE MINDS  |  June 11, 2014
    The knockout production avoids digressions and keeps the interplay punchy, leaving us reeling as well. Think ' Crossfire' on the History Channel.

 See all articles by: BILL RODRIGUEZ