Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spotlight Theatre Company: 5/16 – 6/13

    Finally a thriller that thrills!
Left to Right: Brandon Palmer and Drew Hirschboeck

     Patrick Hamilton’s play, “Rope” is the one on which the 1948 Alfred Hitchcock film was based. You know the one that’s hyped as being completed in one continuous camera shot. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. But only after you see this play!
     It's this reviewer's interesting point of view that the stage version works better for a number of reasons. Not only are the characters in the play in close proximity to a certain item causing suspense to escalate, but we as audience are, too. What’s more the playwright has given us information that the play’s characters must struggle to discover.
     The play is inspired by the real life 1924 Leopold and Loeb murder case.
     Cardell’s direction expertly maneuvers our growing awarenesses of the characters’ suspicions in such a way as to create huge tension.
     Led by Drew Hirschboeck, Brandon Palmer and Todd Black, the cast is a good one.
     Mr. Hirschboeck is exceptional in his ability to express the covert deviltry of Brandon Shaw; this devious character who believes a high IQ makes one immune to the dictates of morality. Brandon Palmer’s paranoia as Phillip Morgan is palpable. Todd Black takes on the part of Rupert Cadell, played by James Stewart in the film, in good form. Having seen the film and not read the play one wonders whether the cane is really necessary for his character.
     The supporting cast includes such fine talents as Sheri Wright and Claude Diener as well as Gina Walker, Jaclyn Walsh (a recent transplant from the jolly old theatre garden across the pond) and Michael Martinkus.
     Director Cardell, who also created the excellent scenic design, is assisted by the very fine sound design of Luke A Terry and costumes by Rosemary Smith. Vance McKenzie does the lighting of the opening scene- so crucial to the set-up – with true expertise. Marlowe's Musings

Spotlight Theatre Company presents
May 16 - June 13
Fri/Sat and Mon., June 1 at 7:30 p.m. /Sun at 2:00 p.m.; Saturday, June 13 at 2p.m.
Tickets are $21 Adult/ $19 for Students/Seniors
Group rates available.
720-880-8727 or online at www.thisisspotlight.com
The John Hand Theater, 7653 E. 1st Place, Denver, CO 80230
Free parking.

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