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Albatross

a World Premiere
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Lee Nowell

COMPANY : Actor's Express [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Actor's Express [WEBSITE]
ID# 3837

SHOWING : October 21, 2010 - November 20, 2010

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A married couple, Alice and Jim, return home after the funeral of an acquaintance. As they settle in for a quiet Tuesday night dinner, startling confessions threaten to interrupt their humdrum suburban routine. They are thrust into a dangerous game of cat and mouse that tests each one's trust for the other -- and reveals that neither is quite what they seem. Each new revelation launches them both deeper into a mystery that keeps twisting and turning until the very end. This gripping new play by Atlanta playwright Lee Nowell dares to ask if you can ever really outrun your past -- or can you bury it when it finally catches up to you?


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Freddie Ashley
Sound Designer Dan Bauman
Prop Master Courtney Greever
Stage Manager Ashley Holmes Reeves
Scenic Designer Phillip Male
Costume Designer Linda Patterson
Lighting Designer Mike Post
Alice Lane Carlock
Jim Brian Kurlander
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Not enough suspense or too much?
by PlainJane
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
3.5
I have every little to add to what the previous critic wrote. The problem for me was that they dragged out the suspense and the answers for so much time that it became a bit uninteresting to me. Maybe I watch to much television and that has shortened my attention span. See what watching too many Matlock episodes does? Anyway, the show certainly had some great moments-just not enough to add up to a really great show. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Carry That Weight
by Dedalus
Thursday, November 25, 2010
3.5
It was a dark and stormy night. Alice and Jim have been at the funeral of a friend, who died under very mysterious circumstances. Undercurrents of tension fill the room as things left unsaid through the years struggle to the surface with the ease of a camel threading a needle.

Such is the premise of “Albatross,” a brand new two-character play by local playwright Lee Nowell, now being given a crackling and tense mounting at Actors Express.

At its core, this is a thriller more than a portrait of marital dysfunction. After all, the secrets that Alice and Jim have been carrying through the years are violent events that few, if any of us have experienced. And, from a snarky critic’s point-of-view, it’s a bit contrived that both Alice and Jim have dark secrets they’ve never shared. Still, Ms. Nowell has developed the play skillfully enough that I, for one, was left spellbound by the gradual unfolding of their separate histories, the gradual reveals of how their pasts affect their present, the ironic revelations that show just how their dead “friend” had infiltrated both of their lives.

I have to first congratulate the cast, Lane Carlock, who has been absent for far too long from our stages, and Brian Kurlander, who made a splash during last summer’s Georgia Shakespeare season. They very successfully convey the unspoken tensions in a marriage in which secrets carry all the weight of the proverbial albatross, yet which is rooted in similar mindsets and reactions to adversity. The conflict between them may not get to the “Virginia Woolf” level of intensity, but it is real enough to carry the weight of their stories.

Next, director Freddie Ashley has done his usual fine job of orchestrating a tense and tightly-paced production, drenching the show with mood and motionlessness. Much of the play is spent with Alice and Jim at their kitchen table, trading barbs and probing for answers. Yet, this very simplicity speaks volumes as to their relationship and what they need to free themselves of their secrets and lies.

Philip Male and Mike Post have collaborated nicely on a set that separates their home into nice safe compartments, lit with a dark style that isolates the characters and focuses our attention on them. The occasional bursts of lightning only underscore the mood.

Yes, this play breaks no new ground and says nothing profound about marriage and about relationships. It is simply a dark night during the long journey of one marriage, a dark night that is both revealing and healing. It is a tense thriller in which (sorta kinda) good people are put into adverse situations in which they make bad decisions, then let those decisions weigh them down for decades. It is an engrossing journey into the past, into the discovery of all that lies below the surface.

And, it is a potent reminder, that I would be awful at any game of “Scotch.”

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)



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