In last week’s preview of enigmatic theatre company’s world premier of Athena, I wrote that it “demands special effects that can’t reasonably be expected to work in the NCSC black box space.” Either I jinxed them, or some wag on the crew decided to pull a plug for my benefit.
The second performance of the play, Aug. 15, was crippled by a backstage power failure which eliminated video projections necessary, again quoting my preview, to “suggest the climactic house-wrecking wind storm” in the penultimate scene. It’s always something. Video or no, the storm scene was more effectively portrayed than I anticipated. Alas, the play itself was no better. There wasn’t a lot of there there, and not much to care about.
However, stellar performances by David Hopes, as Donald, a lightning victim of quiet beauty, and Tiffany Cade, as Kate, a slightly neurotic post-partum mother, graced the evening. Others on the cast turned in commendable performances and brought a bit of life to the stage.
Michael MacCauley‘s direction was inspired, weaving the multiple scenes of an extended one-act play into a continuous tapestry, and Brian Sneeden‘s lighting and sound were excellent. Knowing Peter Brezny‘s work, I could only imagine that the multimedia piece of the puzzle would have been equally fine — but there was that pesky blackout.
The direction, production and acting in this show left me hoping for more from this young stage company. Next time with juice.
— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer