Monday, April 20, 2009

PB Shakespeare Festival: Dead Man's Cell Phone (review)

Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival ran Sara Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone for just the one weekend, but since it's the second production of the play this season, I thought it worth covering.

Hap Erstein
reviewed it for the Palm Beach ArtsPaper, and fortunately for us, he saw the earlier production at Mosaic Theatre.
At Mosaic, Jean was played as a walking neurotic, which certainly offered an added layer of comedy. At Palm Beach Shakespeare, Natasha Sherritt plays her as an empty vessel to be filled with electronic messages, telling people what they want to hear, somewhat reminiscent of Peter Sellers’ Chauncey Gardiner in Being There.
She leaves the bravura acting to David Hyland as dead Gordon. He opens the second act with a monologue in which he recalls the afternoon of his death, going to the café because of a lobster bisque craving. There he notices and becomes smitten with Jean just before his demise. Gordon shakes up the play, just as Hyland wakes up the production.
The best notion to come from co-directors Kermit Christman and Del Tenney was to commission a two-minute contemporary ballet by Ballet Florida’s Jerry Opdenaker, inserted in the second act.
With her intimations of mortality, Ruhl seems to want to say something, but after seeing her play twice in relatively quick succession, I remain at a loss to know what that is.
This is a summary of Hap's full review. Click through to get the whole story.

No comments:

Post a Comment