Wednesday, October 19, 2016

reviews - VERONICA'S ROOM - iTheatre Collaborative

Kyle Hartwick, Makala Close, Brad Bond, and Alaina Beauloye
Photo by iTheatre Collaborative
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through October 29th.

"...Ira Levin’s Vernonica’s a creepy mystery melodrama told in two acts. To tell you anymore is going to be a problem....It’s 1973. There’s a young couple on their first official date at a restaurant in Boston. Susan (Makala Close) is a college student. Larry (Kyle Hartwick) is a lawyer. An elderly Irish couple, John and Maureen Mackey (Brad Bond and Alaina Beauloye), approach the couple. Evidently, Susan resembles someone they once knew; a girl called Veronica, now passed away....The elderly couple invite the young couple back to the suburban Boston home where the Mackeys act as family caretakers. All that’s left of the family in the house is a senile woman called Cissie, and Cissie needs closure on the death of Veronica. If the young student is willing to come back to the house and pretend she’s Veronica – if only for a few moments – it would mean everything to the senile Cissie. Then the play begins, and it all takes place in Veronica’s room, the one where she passed away....once you get to the intermission after the groundwork is established, you can’t help but speculate what’s going to happen. You’ll be asking yourself all kinds of questions... Here’s the thing: You’ll never guess....the outcome is shocking, your stomach will be in knots, and you’ll even question if what you’re witnessing is really happening, but that’s all you need to know....Director Charles St. Clair does a nice job of creating a chilling atmosphere...whether you’re happy with the reveals, the twists, the turns and the outcome, will all be down to you. ..You may love the shocks, or you may be annoyed that it doesn’t quite work in the way you were hoping. The important thing is this: With smart and efficient direction, itc iTheatre Collaborative succeed in what it sets to achieve. There’s something definitely rotten going on in the state of Massachusetts, and spines will be tingled. Say no more. " -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"Author and playwright Ira Levin is best known for his best selling novel "Rosemary's Baby" and his long running thriller Deathtrap. In between those two hits he also wrote the psychological thriller Veronica's Room, which had a brief Broadway run in 1973. It is a play full of deception and interesting revelations. While it may be less shocking today than it was when it first premiered, iTheatre Collaborative's production features a talented cast and firm direction which results in an interesting and intriguing drama. ..Set in 1973, the premise focuses on a young girl and man who are persuaded by an older couple they meet in a restaurant to come home with them to do them a huge favor. ...They tell the couple that the younger girl bears an uncanny resemblance to the woman's dead sister Veronica, from whom she seeks forgiveness for something horrible that happened many years ago. They ask the young girl to pose as Veronica and meet with the older woman to forgive her in order to give her closure before she dies....Levin does over the next 90 minutes will keep you guessing as he pulls back the curtain to reveal the deception and devious traits of the characters. ...While it does result in an interesting play, with so many years of TV shows such as "Criminal Minds" that focus on sick and disturbing sociopathic behavior, it isn't quite as shocking as it could be.
...Alaina Beauloye is superb as the older woman. She navigates quite well through the wide range and multiple layers of the part, and the last few minutes of the play afford Beauloye a revelatory opportunity that she expertly plays. As the young girl, Makala Close evokes a fun sense of adventure and excitement in portraying the woman she is told she resembles. ...Director Charles St. Clair lets the pace flow naturally without rushing the revelations and also allows for a few natural moments of silence that keep the suspense high. ...While Veronica's Room may be less shocking today than when it first premiered, Levin's interesting characters and fun plot twists still amount to an intriguing play. iTheatre Collaborative's convincing cast and sharp direction keep the suspense and creepiness slowly burning until the disturbing last few moments. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"If you’re looking for a good (adult) scare for Halloween, iTheatre Collaborative’s “Veronica’s Room” is a psychological thriller with the best kind of twist ending — the kind that makes everything that came before make sense. ..You don’t really need to see the hostess (Alaina Beauloye) palming a key to the bedroom to guess what’s coming next — but as for what’s after that, well, it’s deliciously unexpected. The real thrill, though, is watching Beauloye her the chance to flex her diva muscles as an angry harridan that recalls some of the great villainesses of Hollywood’s golden age...." Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

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