Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
By CRAIG WRIGHT
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 224 Waverly Place, September 9 – October 9, 2005
Directed by LUCIE TIBERGHIEN
Set Design TAKESHI KATA
Costume Design MIMI O’DONNELL
Lighting Design MATT RICHARDS
Composer/Pianist CHRISTOPHE TIBERGHIEN
Production Stage Manager PAIGE VAN DEN BURG
Press Representation OPR/ORIGLIO PUBLIC RELATIONS
Stephen Bogardus – Narrator
Brian D’Arcy James – Peter
Jennifer Mudge – Kari
Time, the universe, a high school reunion, the end of an era and regret all intertwine to create the impressive THE PAVILION. A little bit out there at first introduction, this play is ultimately fulfilling, moving and poignant.
The night is the 20 year reunion of a high school class from Pine City, MN. At the end of the festivities, THE PAVILION, a favorite local spot will be razed to make room for the modern world. Scene set by the narrator, enter Peter and Kari and their central story of young love gone wrong.
As the past emerges into the present, an unplanned pregnancy, an abandonment, the loss of self and the visceral power of memory and anger take center stage, offering actress Jennifer Mudge an opportunity to let the audience experience Kari’s pain in a striking way. At the very heart of THE PAVILION, the painful, shared past of these two begs the question, Can the past be undone? Can it even be revisited, let alone atoned for? Peter hopes so.
Not a typical love story at all, Craig Wright’s rather philosophical and definitely derivative tale (OUR TOWN) in terms of style is well-written if less than absolutely satisfying in all aspects. Brian D’Arcy James’ Peter is appropriately sympathetic and troublesome. Stephen Bogardus does well as the omnipresent narrator, but he also plays the entire graduating class of 1985 and their significant others, aside from the leads, we meet in THE PAVILION, and that can be a mixed bag. There are plenty of funny moments down to his caricatures, but no characters emerge. Perhaps that is part of the point. On this particular night, the focus is meant to be on Kari, Peter, and the nature of time and existence.
In terms of design, the lighting is moody, the music is performed live, the pacing is slow without being stagnant, and the set is spare but appropriately suggestive of the scenes played. Overall, THE PAVILION is a nice little nugget. Recommended.
- Kessa De Santis -