Monday, March 8, 2010

Promethean Theatre: The Dumb Waiter (3 reviews)

The Promethean Theatre Company opened its production of the rarely seen Pintner play The Dumb Waiter one March March 5, 2010.
In an airless basement room, two killers await confirmation of the identity of their next ‘hit’. They’re a team from way back. Today something has disturbed their normally efficient routine. Unseen forces bear down on them in their precarious and darkly funny world.
Meanwhile, increasingly bizarre orders keep arriving via a
mysterious hatch. Who’s getting served next?
Margaret Ledford directed a cast that includes Ricky Waugh and Greg Weiner.

Roger Martin reviewed for
Fifty years on from its premier production in London, Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter still amuses, puzzles and ultimately shocks, or perhaps not, in its latest reincarnation at the Promethean Theatre.
Ricky Waugh and Gregg Weiner have both won acting awards and it's easy to see why. They have tremendous, if different, strengths. Weiner seems to pop from the stage; it's hard to pull your eyes away.

With Dan Gelbmann's set and lighting and Matt Corey's sound design and original score, plus two fine actors, Margaret Ledford has put together a worthy Dumb Waiter.
The Sun Sentinel sent Bill Hirschman to review, so they stay on my reading list for now:
As the Promethean Theatre proves in the rarely-performed "The Dumb Waiter," foreboding is not in the dialogue between two hitmen waiting for their latest assignment. They chatter and bicker like spouses about topics beyond banal.

But very slowly over the next hour, dread builds under Margaret M. Ledford's direction despite copious chuckles written into Pinter's 1957 script.
It's in good hands, with Waugh as the sharper of the duo, and the always-solid Weiner, who shambles through as the dimmer-witted half. Weiner and Ledford make Gus' protracted effort of tying his shoes into a character-revealing bit of business...
Dan Gelbmann, who designed the superb tony hotel room in the recent "Dumb Show," delivers its antithesis with a grimy killing ground. Matt Corey's jangly music and well-timed crashes of the dumb waiter ratchet up the tension.

Promethean continues to bravely set its ever-rising sights on thought-provoking work.
Christine Dolen reviewed for the Miami Herald:
All the mystery and black-comic menace that flow through the plays of Nobel laureate Harold Pinter are present in The Dumb Waiter, a 1957 one-act now being presented by The Promethean Theatre in Davie.
Under Margaret M. Ledford's direction, Waugh and Weiner play out a comic, unsettling duet. Both use accents that convey place and status, and both are comfortable working out Pinter's absurdist logic. Weiner, especially, makes you believe he's that not-so-bright guy waiting for word of work that has started to bug him.

Special kudos on this one to sound designer Matt Corey. Because that offstage john and the sudden rumble of the dumb waiter? We ``see'' the first and feel jolted by the second simply because of Corey's work.
The Dumb Waiter plays at the Promethean Theatre through March 21, 2010

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