The Road to Mecca
Miners Alley Playhouse: 3/28 – 5/4
Seated is Deborah Curtis with Miriam BC Tobin and Tim Fishbaugh above
Although the opening moments of Athol Fugard’s “The Road to Mecca” are a little bit slow in setting the stage for his masterful if somewhat verbose play, anyone staying the course will be immersed in a truly rich and rewarding work of Art.
The deft direction by Len Matheo elicits very fine performances from his three-person cast. The acting of Deborah Curtis in the part of Miss Helen is as reflectively descriptive of the soulful innovative character of this aging artist as is the glittering scenic design describing the interior of her rustic South African home. The set created by Peggy Morgan Stenmark shimmers and shines,illuminated by the lighting design of Jonathan Scott-McKean.
Tim Fishbaugh portrays Marius Byleveld, the voice of conformity and dogmatic persecution with relentless self-righteousness. Although he says he wants to protect Miss Helen by enrolling her in a church-run home for the aged, one somehow hears the echo of that Rodgers and Hammerstein lyric about folk who wish to “protect you out of everything you’ve got.”
If a touch too strident than one might wish in her delivery at the top of the play, Miriam BC Tobin quickly finds a level of balance in her otherwise superb performance.
This play has much to say regarding aging in place, artistic integrity and apartheid.
Deborah Curtis gives real power to playwright Fugard’s words about the internal inspiration and torture of the creative artist in this heartfelt performance.
On the evening that this reviewer was in attendance the valiant cast forged on through a couple of unfortunate cell phone interruptions. Nevertheless … not even this jangling interference could be able to shake the memory of such an indelible evening of humanistic theatre.
“The Road to Mecca”
Mar. 28 - May 4
Fri. and Sat. @ 7:30 p.m.; Sun @ 6 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sun., May 4)
Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, CO 80401 303-935-3044 or online at minersalley.com