Reruns are summer’s perfect television. It gives us the opportunity to see a show that we missed the first time around. Theatre on the Lake bases its season on this concept. Eight plays from eight different theatre companies are selected from the 2011-2012 season. The best of the best is remounted for a five show run. Theatre on the Lake is already at #8! And this final offering is a whale of a good time.
Theatre on the Lake, in conjunction with The Building Stage, presents the remount of MOBY DICK. The-one-that-got-away classic has become a whimsical fish tale. Adapter and director Blake Montgomery re-imagines the story narrated by a chorus of Ishmaels. The six person ensemble, including Montgomery, start out in a classroom setting and then head to the sea. By donning a coat or hat, the cast goes from instructor to Ahab or Starbucks or crewmate. The coat prop also becomes this catalyst to insanity. In unison, the coat-clad cast portrays the revenge driven captain. The intensity of the madness is only broken when the coat is ripped from the wearer. The symbolism of someone getting cloaked in their own obsession is powerful. The whole play is a thought-provoking progression. Montgomery orchestrates it with synchronized motions. And this visual becomes even more important to the performance because faulty microphones (or bad acoustics) muffle some of the narrative. The talented ensemble is strong and weathers the turbulence. Through inflection and movement, they steer this ship on its journey. Even when I can’t make out the words, I still know exactly where we are on the quest.
There is an audio-astic element to this show. Composer Kevin O’Donnell and his percussionists (Casey Baker and Mike Przygoda) bang out the drama! The whale watching goes tribal with a primitive beating of drums. The trio is perched above the stage -kind of like if the Blue Man Group died and went to heaven. Looking down on the action, they energetically attack O’Donnell’s score. Their *whaling* on these drums is amazingly spectacular.
MOBY DICK goes after the elusive white whale with passion. This expedition is definitely *see worthy*!
Joining me for a preshow lakeside picnic, Jen describes the show with ‘pacesetting, prominent percussion.’
Running Time: Two hours includes an intermission
At Theatre on the Lake, Fullerton and Lake Shore Drive
Based on the novel by Herman Melville
Conceived and directed by Blake Montgomery
August 2nd, 3rd, 4th at 7:30pm
August 5th at 6:30pm