Entertainment

Zach Theatre is Buzzing With In The Next Room, (Or The Vibrator Play). By Cristopher Stanford

In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)the room next door. Zach Theatre now playing in the intimate Topfer Theatre at ZACH ……..  is without question phenomenal!!

ZACH left no holds barred in the production of this play.   The writing, direction, acting, set design, and wardrobe all came together to create a surprising experience for the audience.  I honestly felt as if I had stepped back and caught a glimpse of a true to life, yet hilarious juncture in the time of the dawning of electricity.

It is clear that Sarah Ruhl wrote this production with the sense of humor almost slightly behind her, as none of the humor was direct, and even the extreme relocation of emotion to amorousness was inclusive of underlying humor. The inventive and witty story brings speculation to sexuality, intimacy, love, and affection while telling the story of how a woman overcomes her husband’s lack of understanding of the opposite gender.  I seek to see productions that can take my feelings from one extreme to another and back, and this play certainly did that.

the room next door. Zach Theatre

The cast was spot on in every way, clearly a result of not only their individual talent but the direction from Sarah Rasmussen.  Each member of the cast did their part and let me feel the emotion within their individual character.  Michelle Alexander’s portrayal of Elizabeth left no doubt in her ability as an actress from her tones to her timing, making every word count.  Jill Blackwood’s ability, in this role as Mrs Catherine Givings and in any other role she plays, to captivate the attention of every member of the audience, whether 50 or 420 is beyond belief.  Craig Mungavin as Dr. Givings slowly drew me in to his heart, and made me fall in love with him.

The set design certainly made me feel as if I had pulled back a curtain into a late 19th century doctor’s home, and took a look into it.   From the inlayed flooring to the high walls with crown molding, and the period furniture I was certainly convinced that I was there.    Additionally, the transition at the end, which relocates the scene to the winter garden was breathtaking and captivating.   

the room next door. Zach TheatreFinally the costumes from Moria Sine Clinton were without question substantial.  With one exception, a floral printed dress, while it definitely represented the character’s blossoming, was a little busy, and left me staring at it, rather than attentive to the situation presented.  

All in all, I am pleased to have seen this production, and would credit 5 out of 5 stars to the cast and crew in their heartfelt fructification in unfolding this enchanting story.

 

InTheNextRoomLogoTN In The Next Room or the vibrator play continues to run through February 23, 2014 at Zach Scott’s Topfer Theatre, Karen Kuykendall Stage with performances Wed-Sat at7:30pm and Sun at 2:30pm.  Ticket prices are $25 – $70.  Zach Theatre is located at 1510 Toomey Road – Austin, TX 78704.  Tickets are available at www.zachtheatre.org or by calling 512-476-0541, x1.

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