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Redwood Curtain 

By Lanford Wilson

Directed by Gregg W. Brevoort

Dorset theatre festival

Dorset, VERMONT

 

the Post*Star
Dorset Closes Season Powerfully
By Bob Rose
Show Done To Perfection

“Beautifully directed by Gregg W. Brevoort, Redwood Curtain blazes on the stage”

DORSET, Vt. * A visually and emotionally stunning production of Lanford Wilson’s drama, “Redwood Curtain,” running through Sept. 22 at the Dorset Playhouse, closes the season for the Dorset Theatre Festival.

It is highlighted by three outstanding portrayals. Ann Hu plays the obsessive Eurasian girl, Geri Riordan; Gregory Northrop is the disturbed Vietnam veteran, Lyman Fellers; Paula Mann is Geri’s sympathetic aunt, Geneva Simonson. No matter what the combination is in the three scenes, all three characters mesh with touching and occasionally humorous interaction.

Beautifully directed by Gregg W. Brevoort, “Redwood Curtain” blazes on the stage with these three fine performances. Effective support for their characterizations springs from Melissa K. Ring’s marvelously controlled lighting and sound effects. This is an amazingly well constructed display of talent in every area.

Wilson, who is also hailed as the accomplished playwright of “Talley’s Folley” and “Fifth of July,” both produced previously at Dorset, and who also wrote his “Burn This” while a resident at the festival’s Dorset Colony House, here brings together two intriguing stories.

The veteran, unable to cope with a society he no longer understands, is trying to accept his postwar existence by hiding from humanity in California’s redwood forest.

Following her adoptive father’s death, Geri, a beautiful young concert pianist, has left her promising profession to search for her biological father, an American soldier in the Vietnam war who she comes to believe is Fellers.

How the two interact quickly develops into a fascinating and suspenseful tale touched with a bit of mysticism. The DTF production was greeted on opening night by well-earned cheers and much applause. The cast ably brings out the humor Wilson has provided as well as the plot’s genuine emotional impact.

William John Aupperlee’s set is about as realistic as one could expect when a designer tries to recreate the ageless forest on stage. Through quick and well-choreographed maneuvers, a small crew unobtrusively provides three other settings, namely an automobile, a coffee shop, and an impressive drawing room.

All disappear as smoothly as they emerge.

The cast has mastered Wilson’s engrossing dialogue, laden with thought-provoking drama and tempered by quiet, intriguing comedy.

Following a most successful season, artistically and financially, DTF outdoes itself with “Redwood Curtain” which was also chosen a few years ago as the season’s final offering by Bennington’s Oldcastle Theatre. It is a powerful show done to absolute perfection.