By JONATHAN MARC SHERMAN
Directed by LIZZIE GOTTLIEB
Based on the September 27 through October 13, 2002 run at Bleecker St. Theatre
Costumes DAPHNE JAVITCH
Lighting JEFF CROITER
Sets ANDROMACHE CHALFANT
Sound CHRISTOPHER LIBERTINO
Press OPR/Origlio Public Relations
Larry Block - Peter Dinklage - Josh Hamilton
Keira Naughton - Armando Riesco - Ione Skye
On first glance at the pool of talent involved, EVOLUTION would appear to be the show to catch. A tale of a media-barren graduate student who is swept into the unlikely role of network television powerhouse, this work is full of potential.
While not bad, there is a vapidness to this play that should have been ironic, but reads more like unsatisfied want. Billed as a morality play, it really is not, for all of the forced trappings and gimmicky aspects. Perhaps playwright Sherman has himself become too jaded with the “Hollywood” side of show business to finesse the language and scenes of this, his own cautionary tale.
A quirky thread of theater, this wild look at modern morality, juxtaposed against the antithetical worlds of academia and network television, is a quick journey through time. EVOLUTION, while widely publicized for a cast that includes Ione Skye, actually offers the well-known film actress very little to do. She gets to say “pussy” and “cock” many times, and breaks up a relationship in record time, but as a character, we never know the woman she is meant to play.
The real fire in EVOLUTION, as well as in the cast comes from energetic Armando Riesco, as a kind of modern day, drug-induced Pied Piper. He really gets his character, and goes to town with the role. Peter Dinklage, as a sycophantic television guy has even less to do than Ms. Skye. As the fallen academic, Josh Hamilton has a lot to say and do, but seems an odd choice for the role. Rounding out the cast, Keira Naughton gives a steady performance as the betrayed, academic girlfriend, and Larry Block, playing the Everyman/Narrator gets to do a little bit of everything.
Best bet? Keep an eye out for Mr. Riesco!
- Kessa De Santis -