Thursday, May 07, 2009

Our Town (The SOB Review)

Our Town (The SOB Review) - Barrow Street Theatre, New York, New York

**** (out of ****)

Hands-down, the best show I've seen all year, period. Thornton Wilder’s classic stage drama Our Town -- now playing New York's cozy Barrow Street Theatre -- has never looked better.

Imported to New York by Chicago's reliably inventive The Hypocrites, this is hardly a toddlin' Town. Stripped down to its bare essentials by director David Cromer, this exquisite revival moves all about the audience with an unforced urgency. It's hard to imagine live theatre could get anymore intimate than this.

Wilder’s heartfelt words never seemed truer or more genuine, which is refreshing considering how Michele Spadaro's deceptively spare stage design gives way to one last breath of real life, which itself ultimately proves a veritable feast for and in all senses. It certainly makes the case against living in the past.

Cromer expertly doubles as a world-weary Stage Manager, but it’s Chicago import Jennifer Grace (an ensemble member with The Hypocrites) as Emily Webb who really registers with a searing performance.

If you're hungering for theatrical excellence, get thee to the Village to see Our Town. This mind-blowing production simply can’t be missed.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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