Next In Line
- by John Warren
review in Frontiers (Erin Blackwell)
- Tickets & Directions / Home / Now Playing &
Coming Soon / Back to Media List / To email us
- Dead Man Running
- Next in Line takes a detailed look at political
consultants and the compromises they'll make to elect a client. Maybe
too detailed. Playwright John Warren seems eager to prove he knows his
subject from the ground up, but all an audience really wants is a believable
fiction. Somewhere in there is a very funny story about electing a dead
man to the state assembly, but the script fails to focus on the steps leading
inevitably to this surprising development. As directed by Jason Ries,
Next in Line offers a scrupulous accumulation of professional tics played
in real time, with a comic denouement as an afterthought. Easier to fix
dozen-plus blackouts averaging 30 seconds apiece, which sap momentum.
- The Exit on Taylor stage is twice as wide as
audience is deep (about 30 feet by 15). Designer Alison Tassie fills that
expanse with real-life office furniture on actual wall-to-wall carpeting,
surrounded by unrelentingly beige walls, to create a set so literal-minded
only belong to a TV sitcom.
The acting also seems designed for the camera. A
cast of six conscientiously ignore the audience while they
pretend to be engrossed in campaign minutiae. But who cares about the campaign?
An audience exists to witness those things that characters are unable to
notice about themselves.
But we can only notice what actors reveal; and these
folks aren't giving much away. Nora El Samahy has the big, wide-set eyes
face that could communicate so much if she'd control her hair. She's
believable, but we have no idea what she believes in--or what she
wants. Is that her fault? the director's? the script's? or the fact that
reigning paradigm is "The West Wing"? Don Speciale, the nominal
could be a do-gooder who turns bad, but we never see the shift. Tom
Baxley as a rival spinmeister makes the clearest impression, because he's
about his (shallow) needs. Robert Corrick plays three characters as if
they were the same person wearing different clothes. This is
unfortunate, as the final plot twist requires him to impersonate someone.
- Through April 13, Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor,
Home / Now
Playing & Coming Soon / Back to Media List
/ To email us