Theater Review by Michael Stever
Cracking open people’s emotional baggage is a slippery slope in any artistic medium. Throw in the capacity for ‘Divine Intervention’ and the playing field becomes even slipperier. All the more reason why playwright David A. Gill’s ‘Providence’ deserves attention from those seeking high drama on the New York Stage.
Imagine, eight strangers all sequestered in a Providence Mass bus depot in the middle of a brutal thunderstorm. The scenario alone sounds ripe with potentiality – throw in eight equally solid actors, mix it with brisk, well paced writing and you’ve got some noteworthy scenery chewing to savor at the Roy Arias Stage IV Times Square Arts Center.
The title alone inspires curiosity as to whether or not these characters ‘overlapping’ interactions will come to some kind of head or settle in more distantly dispersed directions. Far be it for me to give away the ending, but suffice to say with themes and emotional maladies ranging from religious abuse and infidelity, to hazing and the seemingly never ending torture of ‘coming out’…this play packs in the drama, but also adds in some much needed humor to keep the balance.
The talented cast includes Nick Adamson, Nico Meyer Allen, Joel T. Bauer, Carla Briscoe, Todd Butera, Richard Lear, Geri-Nikole Love & Michelangelo Milano – and there is not a weak link amongst them. Tom Wallace’s direction is meticulous and strong, and several virtually seamless ‘transition’ moments to flashbacks are handled brilliantly. Special attention should also be paid to stellar production design from Charles Kirby, costumes by Jonathan Michaud, and the Four ‘Mos Production team of Tony Nation, Richard Lear and David Gill.
There are several performances of ‘Providence’ left, so be sure and take the time to catch it before October 26th.
DATES: October 9 – 26, 2014 ~ Thursday – Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm
THEATRE: Roy Arias Stage IV ~ 300 West 43rd Street, NYC