SUBMIT ABOUT FAQ
PEOPLE COMPANIES VENUES
LOGIN NEW USER PRODUCTIONS
REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Sarah Ruhl

COMPANY : Synchronicity Performance Group [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Peachtree Playhouse
ID# 4794

SHOWING : September 25, 2015 - October 18, 2015

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Welcome to 1887. Chester Arthur is in the White House. Women are wearing bustles and corsets, and men drive horse-drawn carriages. The invention of the light bulb and a handy new instrument to treat “hysteria” in women has Dr. Givings’ patients all aglow and his young wife very curious. A comedy about intimacy and equality in the vein of a British farce. Note: Contains adult themes.

Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and three 2010 Tony Awards, including best play.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Rachel May
Leo Tony Larkin
Dr. Givings Daniel May
Mrs. Daldry Wendy Melkonian
Elizabeth Danielle Mills
Mr. Daldry Doyle Reynolds
Annie Maria Sager
Mrs. Givings Bryn Striepe
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

An Ecdysiast May Strip Striepe
by playgoer
Sunday, October 11, 2015
3.5
"In the Next Room" is a period piece taking place in 1887, with ironic foreshadowing of the effect electricity will have on the world. At its heart, it’s a story of repressed Victorian spouses longing to find connection and sexual release. That primitive electrical stimulation devices are the means of release is both the joke and the centerpiece of the action.

Carter Eastis’ set design (adapted from Michael Halad’s) provides an appropriate background for the action. Stage right is Dr. Givings’ medical treatment room; stage left is the parlor of the Givings’ home. Both halves are nicely furnished, and Elisabeth Cooper’s prop design and M.C. Parks’ "instrument" design are both impressive. Landi McAdams’ costumes (adapted from Jonida Beqo’s designs) set the period appropriately, and Katie McCreary’s lighting design and Rob Brooksher’s sound design enhance the action. The set is a tiny bit flimsy, with wall panels separated by blank space and walls that shudder when doors are closed. Still, it’s a good use of the space, with leafless branches downstage of the stage curtain that frame outdoor action, except for the nicely staged final scene.

Director Rachel May has created effective pacing and blocking of the action, even though the script does tend to slow down as the play is winding up. She hasn’t been able to elicit a consistent level of acting quality in the cast, however. Daniel May is excellent as the scientific-minded Dr. Givings, as is Tony Larkin as a British artist. Wendy Melkonian is stunningly perfect in her role as a frustrated housewife. Maria Sager is quite good as Annie, the doctor’s assistant, although she doesn’t appear to be over 33, as the script indicates.

On the other side of things, Doyle Reynolds is execrable as Mr. Daldry, all clipped, artificial speech, coupled with a total lack of virile masculinity. Danielle Mills is little better as nursemaid Elizabeth, showing little facial expression and giving her lines with a flat, generally listless delivery. Bryn Striepe is okay as the central character of Mrs. Givings, but she’s a bit sturdy for the role of a flighty, generally delicate woman. Instead of a Nora from "A Doll’s House," we get more of a Mrs. Antrobus from "The Skin of Our Teeth." More nuance is needed.

There’s a lot of undressing and dressing in the play, as patients disrobe for the doctor, then slip on their clothes when their session is done, not to mention Elizabeth nursing the Givings’ daughter as she poses. It’s all done in good taste, though, with little bare flesh exposed. There’s quite a bit of prurient action going on, but nothing that goes beyond the bounds of modern good taste for adult audiences. The title and subject matter are meant to titillate, and they do do a good job of attracting audiences, but Synchronicity’s production doesn’t deliver the goods that would make this play fully entertaining on its own merits. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

OPENING SOON
Monday Night May Improv Hilarity
Good Acting Studio
CLOSING SOON
A Public Education
by Jeff Talbott
Out of Box Theatre
A Round-Heeled Woman
by Jane Prowse
Staged Right Theatre
Cab Calloway Story Hi De Hi De Ho!
Academy Theatre
Monday Night May Improv Hilarity
Good Acting Studio
Much Ado About Nothing
by William Shakespeare
ACT1
Pump Boys and Dinettes
by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, Jim Wann
Lionheart Theatre Company
NOW PLAYING
A Public Education
by Jeff Talbott
Out of Box Theatre
A Round-Heeled Woman
by Jane Prowse
Staged Right Theatre
Almost, Maine
by John Cariani
Centerstage North Theatre
Cab Calloway Story Hi De Hi De Ho!
Academy Theatre
Daddy Long Legs
by John Caird (book) and Paul Gordon (songs)
The Legacy Theatre
Dinner and a Show – The Savannah Sipping Society
by Jones, Hope, Wooten
The Vineyard Cafe and Dinner Theatre
Midnight at the Masquerade
by The Murder Mystery Company
The Murder Mystery Company in Atlanta
Much Ado About Nothing
by William Shakespeare
ACT1
Murder Impossible: Fortnight Edition
by Marc Farley
Agathas: A Taste of Mystery
Native Gardens
by Karen Zacarías
Aurora Theatre
Pump Boys and Dinettes
by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, Jim Wann
Lionheart Theatre Company
Ragtime
by Terrence McNally (book), Lynn Ahrens (lyrics), Stephen Flaherty (music)
Serenbe Playhouse
Ride the Cyclone
by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell, with additional material by Alan Schmuckler
Alliance Theatre Company

©2012 TheaterReview.com. All rights reserved.