Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
By ADAM BOCK
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, www.rattlestick.org
January 13 – February 29, 2004
Directed by KENT NICHOLSON
Sets JAMES FAERRON
Costumes ALEJO VIETTI
Lighting DAVID SZLASA
Sound DREW YERYS
Choreography JULIA ADAM
Production Stage Manager JANA LLYNN
Stage Manager MARCI GLOTZER
Press Representation OPR/ORIGLIO PUBLIC RELATIONS
Joanna P. Adler – Jane
Jason Butler Harner – Ed
Kevin Karrick – Andre
Matthew Montelongo – Tom
Alice Ripley – Olivia
Lisa Steindler – Adele
With Adam Bock’s comedy, FIVE FLIGHTS marking the second play to be mounted since Rattlestick Theater changed names to Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, it becomes even clearer that this company means serious business, and that translates into rewarding theater going for all of us.
The plot of FIVE FLIGHTS revolves around a decaying aviary, the three siblings who having inherited the structure must decide what to do with it, and the outside influences on this decision. If that sounds boring, under the masterful control of playwright Adam Bock, it is anything but. The action is narrated by one of the siblings, Ed, and we come to learn that while he would be happy for the property to crumble to the ground, his sister Adele and her best friend Olivia want the space for Olivia’s Church Of The Fifth Day, a religion centered around birds. For any action to be taken, two out of the three siblings must agree. Ed never voices an opinion, and Olivia speaks for Adele, but there is yet another point of view at play.
We only meet two of the three siblings onstage during FIVE FLIGHTS. In place of the third, Bobby, Bock brings in his wife, Jane, a spectacular creation played with punch and great comedic timing by Joanna P. Adler, to play nemesis to Olivia. Jane wants restoration, and her interactions with Alice Ripley’s fiery Olivia are pure delight. The remaining characters, Tom, a love interest for Ed, and Tom’s hockey teammate Andre, who becomes a devotee of the bird church, nicely fill out the cast by adding life outside the aviary to the character’s lives.
Solid, if not perfect, FIVE FLIGHTS has enough merit to forgive the flaws, limited to a strange change in pace toward the end of the play when things seem to become a bit drawn out and extraneous. Up until then, there is nary a complaint to be had. Every bit of the design, the lighting, sound, costumes and set, is simple, on point and functioning as an integral part of the larger whole.
I seldom laugh out loud, but I did so a lot during this FIVE FLIGHTS. Featuring a smart script and stellar cast, this production is solid. Recommended.
- Kessa De Santis -
Also by Adam Bock: The Typographer's Dream