Friday, October 23, 2009

Art of Murder

Stage Coach Theatre's Art of Murder is a tight, tense, intriguing little thriller.

Because it's such a brisk-paced show, the actors presented a dramatic reading of Edgar Allen Poe's Tell-Tale Heart before the first act began. The actors did a really nice recitation, holding the audience's attention with what was essentially four long monologues.

The show itself has a lot of twists and turns. I was already familiar with the script, so I missed out on some of the suspense for that reason. But in particular, the scenes where that take place in pitch black, with screams and shots and unidentifiable noises, still gave me chills.

Anthony Polidori plays Jack Brooks, a famous hotshot artist who has lost his touch. His dealer can't seem to sell his newest work, Study in Red 4, and Jack is busy making horrible collages of shoes. Jennifer Bertino-Polidori plays Annie Brooks, his wife and an artist in her own right. The play starts off tense when Jack displays his domineering side, trying to force himself on the couple's maid and insisting on seeing Annie's latest work, then criticizing it and telling her to destroy it. Watching Jack's callousness and Annie's seemingly broken spirit in this moment creates a brutish, nasty little scene that sets the tone for the rest of the play.

The other two actors -- the maid, Kate, played by Amanda Jacob, and Jack's art dealer Vincent Cummings, played by Frederic Webb, do a good job. Webb is a little over-the-top at times, but does well depicting growing anxiety as the evening progresses and pulls off his final scene with a nice amount of wounded pride. The Jacob pulls off her part well, including the Irish accent.

The show is in its last weekend. If you're looking to take in a little live theater, Art of Murder is a picture-perfect thriller for the Halloween season.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Lora for taking the time to provide a review for Art. It means a great deal that you have given us insightful feedback on the production. And I can't wait for your upcoming show.


Lora V. said...

Thank you, Anthony! I certainly hope you and Jen will consider auditioning for it.