|Tyler Gasper and Steven Mastroeini|
photo: Bill Phillips
Click here for more information on this production that runs through November 1st.
Embellish...Lie...What is the line, if it is at all fine, between the two ~ and should the act, in whichever form, forever influence one's perception and trust of the disseminator? ...Such are the questions at the heart of Christina Gorman's AMERICAN MYTH, on stage now at Theatre Artists Studio....They are good and timely questions that would make for good theater in the hands of the right playwright. However, in Ms. Gorman's stab at the theme, the effort is skin-deep, with a plot line that, at times, defies credulity....the challenge for director Robyn Allen is how to embellish ~ how to make lemonade out of lemon. ...she cuts deeper into the substance of the play, although not without some unavoidable pitfalls. Professor Douglas Graham (stoically played by Steven Mastroieni) is a renowned specialist on American history...Peter Finnerty (played by Tyler Gasper), one of Graham's former students and now a junior reporter for the lifestyle section of the local newspaper, has discovered flaws in his published profile of the professor. Flaws, embellishments, lies! ...A young journalist's disbelief and disappointment would be understandable, but Gasper indulges in paroxysms that detract from the character's credibility. What's more are his frequent and unlikely intrusions at the Graham home and confrontations with Lanie, the professor's loyal ally and wife, movingly portrayed by Christi Sweeney. At bottom, he is relentless about exposing the liar...At play's end, we may have some inkling of the forces that drive men and women (think Brian Williams!) to color their past a bit and to assume the risk of embellishment. ...Truth, justice, and the American way. Is this formulation the American myth? Is the American dream the American myth? If nothing else, AMERICAN MYTH provides food for thought at the after-theater coffee klatch." -Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)