By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Both the play and director Joseph Adler's topflight production take their inspiration, it seems, from television and film. The many short scenes jump from location to location like a movie, the musical score feels cinematic, and the cast of characters reads like a sitcom. Adler has enhanced this sense by going with Lyle Baskin's large multileveled TV-show-style set that allows the action to jump around -- from Theresa's spare, spacious office to her spare, styleless apartment and back again. The production also is aided by Daniela Schwimmer's realistically detailed costumes and Jeff Quinn's inventive lighting. A special nod goes to sound and music designer Nate Rausch, who follows up his deliciously eerie sound score for Mad Cat Productions' Portrait with superlative work here. From dark, driving blues to discordant jazzy urban riffs to the final sequence of jungle drums, Rausch really creates an ominous New York of the ear, adding a building sense of menace.
As ever, Adler's direction is taut, clean, and evocative. You can really feel the walls looming around Theresa as the story progresses, and the focus stays on her story rather than the production techniques that support it. That has long been Adler's style: Find the key beats of the story; stage them effectively; give them a sensual texture of place, mood, and pace; and then get out of the way of the actors.
GableStage audiences are fortunate to have Adler on the job. He takes on intense, difficult material and scores repeatedly, knocking hits out of the park on a regular basis. But maintaining such a level of consistency and quality is a difficult task, a high-wire act even with unlimited resources, which GableStage decidedly lacks. I hope Adler's audiences, and the South Florida community in general, realize what a rare gift they have in him.