The T. Schreiber Studio
Presents
LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY
By John Guare



The T. Schreiber Studio, www.t-s-s.org, Thursday, January 29 - Sunday, February 22, 2004

Directed by Terry Schreiber
Musical Direction by Michael Paternostro
Clowning by Harold Moeller
Set Design -- Hal Tine
Lighting Design -- Joe Saint
Production Manager/Tech Director -- Jarid Sumner
Production Coordinator -- Sarah Winton
Stage Manager -- Cheryl Rubin
Costume Coordinator -- David Kaley
Sound -- Dave Morallie
Assistant Director -- Katrina Scott
Program design -- Lauren Snyder
Production Design -- Lauren Snyder
Production Photographer -- Stefan Mreczko
Press Representative -- Scotti Rhodes


CAST
Betty Yearn -- KIMILEE BRYANT
Rosalie Mandible -- JESSICA ALLEN
Bert Yearn -- IAN CAMPBELL DUNN
Captain Holahan -- ALBERT INSINNIA
Raulito -- JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ
Durwood Peach -- FRED TUMAS
Joanna -- CRISTINA DOIKOS
Donny -- CHRISTOPHER LOCOCO
Margie -- PAMELA CROFTON
Bank Teller -- ERICA WENDEL
Masked Man -- FRANCESCO BRAZZINI
Dope King of Providence -- JAMES DUNIGAN
Mute -- LOREN BIDNER


The T. Schreiber Studio's current production of John Guare's Landscape of the Body is "Cabaret" meets "Kids" meets "Boogie Nights."  Set in an outrageous and brutal 1970s Greenwich Village, Landscape follows the surreal and tragic experiences of Betty and her son Bert, who come to the big city from Bangor, Maine to lure Betty's sister back home.  Instead, Betty herself is lured in by her sister's travel agent scam artist and porno film star lifestyle.  When Betty's sister dies in a freak accident, Betty easily assumes her sister's identity, and as her relationship with her son dissolves, he embarks on an amoral journey that begins with petty crimes and ends with his own murder. Rosalie, Betty's dead sister, oversees it all, narrating the story with ironic comments, vaudevillian asides and sardonic songs.

Playing to the absurd, carnivalesque quality of this piece was the pre-show and intermission entertainment, complete with juggler, mime and drag queen, with requisite disco tunes throughout.  The set, too, while minimal, was all mirrored stages and spray-painted walls, which simply summed up the dichotomy between the dual landscapes of the piece -- death and life, reality and imagination, outer life and inner life. 

As Rosalie, Betty's dead sister, Jessica Allen steals the show with her dynamic, cabaret-style narration, and closes it with tenderness and sensitivity in her final monologue.  Other standouts are Ian Campbell Dunn as the sensitive, but misguided Bert, Albert Insinnia as the tough cop turned failure, Captain Holahan, and Joseph Rodriguez as the shady, but comical and sympathetic travel agent Raulitio.

Ultimately, Betty must choose between her sister's American nightmare and her own dawning vision of life as unpredictable and mysterious.  And we must choose between seeing this Landscape and the landscape of our apartments during these cold February nights.  Guare is an American master, as is Director Schreiber, and so we must venture out.


-- Kate Kolendo --

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