Photo by Don Kellogg

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Forest

What a satisfying evening in theatre.  The ensemble cast at Classic Stage Company has put on yet another gem.   Headlined by Diane Weist, the entire ensemble was a powerhouse.  The Forest is a play originally by a Russian, Alexander Ostrovsky (think Chekov), which has been adapted by Kathleen Tolan.  It concerns a powerful woman in Russia who has some money, is a little cheap but cares for and raises poor young children from the town.  'Tis the age of arranged marriages, dowries, male dominated business and politics, and many formalities of public life.   It's a romantic comedy of days gone by.

Here we have a young girl who is promised to man whom she does not love.  She loves a boy from the town madly (and secretly) who does not have the dowry to pay to marry her.  There's a poor young man at the estate who is not too smart and can't figure out how to please the mistress of the estate.  The mistress of the estate who is in love with the young boy but for the formalities of life, is afraid to tell him. There are two vagabond actors, one of whom is a long lost relative, a few townspeople and two servants on the estate.

The actors all serve up outstanding performances - from the comedic to the dramatic and you left the theatre with a sense of just having witnessed true professionals delivering the goods.  Bravo!