Tuesday, July 12, 2011

GableStage: Masked (3 reviews)

GableStage opened the Southeaster Premiere of Ilan Hatsor's Masked on July 9, 2011.
An explosive Israeli play about three Palestinian brothers locked in a life-and-death struggle over issues of deception and betrayal. Set in a village on the West Bank in 1990, it depicts the tragedy of one family torn between duty, kinship, principles and survival.
Joseph Adler directed a cast that featured Nick Duckart, Caros Orizondo, and Abdiel Gabriel.

Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
...GableStage’s powerful new production of Masked... owes as much to classic Greek tragedy as it does to the specific, more recent history that Hatsor considers.
Director Joseph Adler and his three sublimely skilled actors deftly negotiate the emotional shifts of Hatsor’s script...
The charismatic Gabriel, a student at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama, plays Khalid as a young man in grief over their little brother’s fate yet anxious to preserve the family. Duckart makes Na’im a little cocky, sure of the rightness of his mission, a man of frighteningly swift emotional changes. And in the 70 or so minutes it takes Masked to unfold, Orizondo takes Daoud and the audience on a riveting emotional journey, from a confident heartiness to layer-by-layer revelation of his pragmatic truth.
Roger Martin reviewed for Miami Artzine:
Joe Adler has mounted an intense piece. There's no laughter. No relief from the tragedy. It is Carlos Orizondo, as Daoud the family man, who gives us the line, “Life is too short for big wars.” The four brothers are trapped.

Dark and utterly compelling, there's not a wasted moment in Masked. Duckart as Na'im the rebel has the rare talent to disappear into his character. He is not a Duckart you've ever seen before. No handsome leading man, no flashing smile but a fighting man. Orizondo excels as the oldest brother, all reasonableness in an insane situation, self-preservation his goal. And Abdiel Gabriel's mother, like me, must be hugely pleased with his performance as the youngest brother. Matching chops with the other two actors? Oh, yes, very well indeed.
Chris Joseph wrote for the Miami New Times:
It's easy to forget that Ilan Hatsor's tinderbox of a play, Masked... was written 21 years ago. That's because Masked, through aggressive, brooding, and sobering performances from its three stars, plumbs the depths of the still-raw emotions of the divisive Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
...questions ramp up the intensity, drawing searing dialogue and blistering performances from the trio of actors, particularly Orizondo, whose restrained anguish as Daoud finally ruptures as the story unravels.
Gabriel skillfully pulls off Khalid's inner conflict, portraying his struggle with a youthful, idealistic zeal....
Duckart's intensely subdued performance as Na'im is the glue of the production. He is equal parts combustible supporter of the cause and loving, devoted brother, while dealing with guilt over their little brother's shooting.
...the rawness of the subject matter brings home the richness of this particular story, and director Joseph Adler gets his actors to hit the right notes at every turn. Masked is as performance-driven as any recent local production, and the fine acting lends weight to an intense script that delves into some divisive machinations.
Masked plays at GableStage through August 7, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment