Back in the day, I spent every waking moment in a theater. On stage, behind the scenes and in the audience, I thrived on it.
You have my love affair with theater to thank for my painting skills, obnoxious personality and eye for the twisted and macabre.
Which is why it surprises me that today’s post is a first for this blog, (but hopefully not the last).
A theater review folks!
As you may know I wandered up to Salem MA this past weekend, but what you may not know is that I went to see The Thing on the Doorstep performed at the Salem Theater.
I’d never been to this particular theater before, but I had read the HP. Lovecraft story this play was based on and I do so love to visit Salem. So I bought a couple tickets.
The Play/Script Itself
The adaptation of Lovecraft’s work was masterfully done.
Which means, to the casual observer, be prepared to feel a little like you’re watching Shakespeare, because it takes a little while for you to get used to the colorful language. (Major props to the play-write, Isaiah Plovnick on the adaptation btw).
That being said the actors did a particularly great job of performing the flowing complicated Lovecraftian language. Some performances were stronger than others, but the small cast of 5 actors did a great job of bringing you into the world of the story.
The main male characters, Daniel Upton (played by Andy LeBlanc) and Edward Pickman Derby (played by Tom Rash) where knocked out of the park.
Upton was the narrator, leading you through the tangled events that led to the thing on his doorstep and it was his voice that lulled you into the dreamlike world of Lovecraft’s story. Where the frenetic energy of his counterpart, Rash, zapped you into response with the intensity and variety of his performance.
There was one particular moment where half the audience jumped out of their seats because of this contrast. lol
The Design Work
This section is me geeking out because I know too much about set, lighting, and costume design, so feel free to jump ahead if that doesn’t interest you.
One thing I think is very much worth noting is how difficult of a space they have to work with. It’s a narrow length of a room (maybe 50 seats total?) with the stage set up right in the middle of it.
So, with the stage pretty much in the audience’s laps, there is not a seat in the house that doesn’t boast a great view.
The lighting design and set design did a good job of bringing character to the space in a very minimalistic and clean way.
As for costumes, the ladies of the show take the cake, because both, Sarah Upton (played by Kimberly Feener) and Asenath Waite (played by Kate Hamilton) were in gorgeous period gowns that sadly are not reflected in the photograph you see here.
I may just sketch things from memory for you guys later this week. We’ll see if I can make the time/do any justice to them.
I would say, if you love Lovecraft and you’re within driving distance of Salem Ma, go see this show.
It’s a fun, artistic experience of classic horror that I think you’ll love to pieces.
Here’s the info you’ll need to check it out:
Where: Salem Theater, 90 Lafayette Street in Salem, MA
When September 17- October 4 2015
That’s all for today guys 🙂