Tuesday, December 11, 2018

BENCHMARK THEATRE: 11/30 – 12/22

Jeffrey Neuman’s play, WHAT YOU WILL, is not only the best new play of the season, it’s a play this reviewer wishes he had written. It’s a powerful play with a powerful message.
    A cautionary tale, WHAT YOU WILL leans substantially upon Will Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT.
     Neuman’s play asks a lot of the right questions about the nature of relationships. What’s best about this is that the playwright remains in question, leaving no pat answers.
      Adam, a wedding director, and Greg, an actor, who’s constantly running lines from Shakespeare’s “TWELFTH NIGHT,” are two gay men who have been married for a number of years. It’s the holiday season and as often happens at this time of year, emotional crises erupt. 
    Since Adam is feeling lonely with Greg being constantly in rehearsal, he finds himself often at the steam baths where he meets Nick, played by Casey Andree.
     During work hours Adam is working with a beautiful woman named Celia in preparation for her dream wedding.
     In short, Adam has a brief fling with Nick and finds out later what the emotional consequences will be.
     However, for me the heart of the play lies within the friendship developing between wedding director and client as Adam helps Celia make choices for the upcoming celebration. More I will not say.  
     Not a play for children, I wish every adult theatregoer could see WHAT YOU WILL. It’s a cautionary tale about the need for listening to one’s awareness over blind acquiescence when stepping into a long-term relationship. 
     Maggy Stacy is luminous throughout. Whether expressing ebullient joy in the preparation for the wedding, or questioning herself in a moment of doubt, Stacy proves once again that she is one of the brightest stars in the firmament of the Denver stage.
   Stephen Burge, an actor loved for his skills in portraying hysterically funny characters, here unveils an ability to portray a dramatic character with not only skill, but also depth and heart. This is a powerful performance you will long remember.
     Casey Andree plays Nick with just the right cavalier nonchalance.
     New to this reviewer, Tom Littman strikes all the right dramatic notes as Adam’s lover, Greg.
  Warren Sherrill, one of the finest directors in town, makes this gem shine!Marlowe's Musings



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