THEATRE REVIEW: THREE TALL WOMEN
Directed by John McDonald
Review by Emily Berg
The Waterfront Playhouse perfectly captures all of the joys and sorrows of the American master Edward Albee with their production of Three Tall Women.
Three Tall Women explores the complex relationships of a small group of on stage characters, and their even more complicated relationship with the world at large. This is not unlike Albee’s most famous work; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? But Three Tall Women has an added twist that addresses the troublesome realities of aging, jealousy, family, lust, memory… the list could go on and on.
I won’t give too much of a synopsis because part of the beauty of this play is letting it unfold in front of you. If you’re unfamiliar with the Pulitzer Prize winning play I suggest going in blind so to speak (though do finish reading this review. I promise there are no spoilers).
If you have seen it you’ll still want to catch this performance. The thing about Albee’s plays are that they can easily be done poorly. The quick dialogue and dark tones run the risk of reading false and depressing in the wrong hands. That is not the case here.
The acting from each of the female actors is skillful. Leslie Greene, Maggie McCollester and Jessica Miano Kruel play off one another while holding the independence of their characters. Greene, in particular, plays a woman with a large amount of change, both growth and decline. She plays it perfectly. I would bet that in the first act nearly all audience members will see in Greene’s character someone they love or have loved, for better or for worse.
McCollester and Kruel are also given their chance to showcase a wide range of wonderful acting. The younger two of the three women move within the play differently from Greene’s character. But they too are evolving and it’s a joy, a puzzling joy, to watch.
I don’t often give costuming the credit it likely deserves. However, in the case of this production it cannot go unmentioned. The clothing of each character spotlights her role perfectly, giving clues to where she is in life and her relationship with the others on stage. In a more basic, but still important way, the costumes along with the exquisite set make for a beautiful feast of the eyes.
The intentions of Albee’s characters aren’t always obvious or even logical, which is part of the fun. The mystery isn’t necessarily what they want but how they got to wanting anything at all. Because of this every element becomes important. Credit must be given to director John McDonald for recognizing this. The production is detailed in the acting, the costumes and the set. And it still all feels natural.
Another thought provoking play from the Waterfront. This show is a reminder of how lucky our relatively small town is to have such world class theater.
Three Tall Women runs now through April 22 at the Waterfront Playhouse. Tickets are available at waterfrontplayhouse.org.
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Another difference in On The Edge productions is the time.
The Award winning Waterfront Playhouse on Mallory Square, is please to announce their Main Stage series. "With the theatre located Main Stage of the water as well as most productions chosen and designed to be performed Main Stage of the stage, it seemed like a winning title", said Managing Artistic Director Tom Thayer. Although a few productions, such as the upcoming musical The Rocky Horror Show will have more production value, the majority of productions, such as Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, The Informer, Bash, and Trunk Material 2 are created and designed to be performed simply.
Another difference in Main Stage productions is the time.