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
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