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|A CurtainUp Review
By Eunice Marquet
Petrick's main character, Kevin, is a good-hearted social worker who has recently been released from the hospital following what he believes was a terrible traffic accident. In fact, Kevin was the victim of a Central Park beating that left him physically and psychologically traumatized. Unbeknownst to him, he became a media darling during his hospital stay. However, when he starts to regain his memory about the event, he realizes that he is not as innocent as the press has made him out to be.
Having witnessed first hand a similar situation, I was struck by how accurately Petrick had captured Kevin's efforts to regain his equilibrium in the world. Beyond Recognition is a poignant, well-written play that has four fully developed characters struggling to come to terms with this life-altering incident.
Grant James Varjas, who plays Kevin, is a likable actor. He gets warmed up as the show goes on and really hits his stride in the second act. Michael Goduti is very effective as Josh, Kevin's young client who has been ordered by the court to seek anger management. The most engaging scenes in the play are between these two characters.
David Valcin convincingly portrays Mark, Kevin's opportunistic buddy who happens to be a journalist on the hunt for a feel-good story. Kevin's ex-lover and new caretaker, Andrew, is played by Christopher Burns who seems ill at ease in his role. He tends to whine his lines, which becomes progressively more difficult to listen to. However, under the direction of Kate Bushmann, the ensemble is committed to the story and carries the audience along with them.
Kudos to the Set Designer Michael Schweikardt and the Lighting Designer David Castaneda. The black, white and gray set provides a perfect clinical background for the story. Void of color, it allows the characters to really stand out, and with a few well-chosen lighting effect, there is no question where the scene is taking place. Special mention should be given to the sketch, drawn by Scott Aronow, which is projected on the back wall. It begins as a faceless drawing where details are revealed as the play continues. It is a fitting metaphor for this piece.
Mendes at the Donmar
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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