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Far East

a Play
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by A. R. Gurney

COMPANY : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
ID# 302

SHOWING : January 16, 2002 - February 24, 2002

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The author of "Sylvia", "The Dining Room", and "Love Letters" turns his pen toward another part of the world in this fascinating story set in Japan during the Korean War. A young naval officer is caught in a triangle involving his commander's wife. Intrigue and wartime emotions add to a poignant love story.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Alan Kilpatrick
Ens. Bob Munger Evans Colton
Drummer Andrew Davis
Julia Anderson Karen Howell
Capt. James Anderson Mark Kincaid
Reader Widdi Turner
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REVIEWS

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Losing Steam
by Dedalus
Thursday, February 21, 2002
2.0
Watching Theatre in the Square's production of "Far East" is a little like taking a ride on a Steam Locomotive, only to have it ran out of steam before getting to its destination. Starting out beautifully, it presents a story of culture clash by clashing cultures -- presenting Gurney's usual Country Club cast of characters in a semi-Kabuki setting. The sliding screens and Kimono'd percussionist, stage hands, and reader are all attention-grabbers (and keepers), and underscore the theme of cultural choices. But the actors playing the principle roles (especially, and surprisingly, Mark Kincaid as Capt. Anderson), give dull, uninspired readings, that make us care little about what happens to them, or what they really want. At first, this seemed like a choice to create contrast, but, by mid-second Act, the choice wore thin on this viewer, and I kept wanting to jump up and "stoke their furnace." When I read this play, I was impressed by how much the author made me care about the characters, and I wanted to know what became of them. The Actors at Theatre in the Square made me just glad to see them gone. The only exception to this was Evans Colton as Ens. Munger, who injected life into the show in every one of his scenes. And Widdi Turner as the Reader was especially good in the traditional Kabuki role, as well as in several character "voice only" roles.

(BTW -- the "calligraphy" on the set was obviously scribbling, and represented no authentic writing I'm aware of. Would it have killed the scenery painter to do a little research?) [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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