Wednesday, November 09, 2005
A Bright Room Called Day - Elemental
Photo: Deb, Michael and Heidi at the door for A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY in Providence.
The Elemental Theatre Company put together an outstanding production of Tony Kushner's A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY, which closed this past Sunday in Providence.
The play itself , written prior to the milestone Angels in America, is a mixed bag of momentum, heart, and pathos, and could easily have taken a turn for the overwrought or maudlin. This production, directed by Peter Sampieri, played it as a mix of truth and terror, with just the right amount of humor to mix some air and light into the heavy ideas and realities of the play-world.
Centered around a group of friends living in Berlin during the rise of the Nazi Party, the play tumbles forward through time, landing in our own present-day paranoia. The two times effect one-another, and draw occasionally heavy-handed comparisons from the Nazis to the Republicans in the White House.
This is obviously an early play from Kushner, but still, it is exciting, vital, and of the moment, always engaging and never lagging. The play is brimming with important world themes that Kushner has since delved into more fully and subtly thru his body of work over the years. But evident throughout is the voice of a master playwright. His turns of language and thought are always true to the world of the play and owned by the characters. The movements backward and forward in time are precise and warrented.
Of course, without a talented cast, and an insightful director, this difficult play would have been a muddle. Kudos to the Elemental Theatre Company. I look forward to seeing their work in the future.