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A CurtainUp Review
By Christopher Murray
When a young man is drowned in a boating accident during the ferocious storm that opens the play, the delicate balance of class relations and gender harmony in the town turn topsy-turvy. The mild haberdasher Hatch, (the poignant Greg McFadden), is ready to take his cutting shears to the throat of the local doyenne, Louise Rafi (Delphi Harrington, whose manner and carriage are as erect as the feathers shooting up from the brim of her hat). While the conflict between haberdasher Hatch and the haughty Mrs. Rafi churns, the drowned boy’s purportedly bereaved fiancée, Rose (Ruth Eglsaer) tries to understand the meaning of his unfortunate end with the help of his friend, Willy (Allen E. Read).
The revival of this sort of Shakespeare-light drama (think Twelfth Night), with its wonderful splashes of comedy and clowning and it’s concerns about how to stay afloat in a turbulent time, seems very apt in our anxious 2007. The town’s xenophobia rises to a fever pitch, explosing long-simmering tensions and peeling back the veneer of civilization.
T.A.C.T. is a company of actors, and The Sea give s each cast member a moment to shine and make even moments when not the focus of attention count in showing highly specific and detailed characteristics. Nora Chester, stands out as a dough-faced companion to the high-brow Mrs. Rafi, whether nervously clutching at her embroidered handbag as if it were a life preserver or singing a hymn in oblivious off-key.
The design elements add texture to the story-telling. Both David Toser’s costumes and Mary Louise Geiger and Lucrezia Briceno’s lighting employ the pink and roses of summer sunsets and English cheeks in counterpoint with the slate blues and greys of sea and night sky. Director, Scott Alan Evans moves both his actors and the Narelle Sissoon's cunningly contrived set, comprised mostly of a series of six wardrobes on casters around and around in a concentric swirls — accentuating the theme of domestic life under threat of being washed completely away.
Editor's Note: Bond is best known for pitch-black plays like Saved, reviewed by CurtainUp both in —Los Angeles and Off-Broadway. Compared to that play The Sea represents the playwright's one attempt at a lighter approach to playwriting.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide