Telling Moments. Monologues by Robert Reinhart, Adele Lewin, Tessa Bremner, Margaret Fischer, Keith Curran and Neal Bell selected and directed by Adam Maher for A.R.T.S. at The Street Theatre, January 6-22, 2005.
This mixed bunch is a pot-pourri of mainly gay and lesbian scents, with a strong smell of death, actual or emotional. Though some pieces are humorous, even occasionally very funny, the lives of these disparate characters are essentially sad and at the extremes, bleak.
The bunch is also of mixed quality. Reinhart, a well-known New York gay writer, communications executive and media producer, wrote Telling Moments as a collection of 15 gay monologues, which sell to actors to use as audition pieces. Though published in 1994, I could find no internet reference to their production on stage in toto. The other pieces performed here are a mix of one-offs and monologues taken out of plays.
Reinhart's writing is clearly the best of the bunch, but with only some of his 15 presented, and the other pieces having a different focus and not so well written, the show is not clearly integrated. Some of Reinhart's characters do make references to each other, but the point of this is lost on the non-Reinhart characters. So, despite short bookend scenes, there isn't any dramatic development for the audience to follow.
Performances also ranged from fair to excellent. Bringing in only one woman asked too much of Adele Lewin, while Oliver Baudert and Ian Croker had real style and I was particularly impressed by the strength of the younger Jeremy Just's acting. On opening night the acting seemed to free up in the second half, and the audience responded in kind, so we can look forward to the show settling in quickly.
The musicians, Helen Way (cello) and Brett Janiec (clarinet) played with verve and great style between the telling moments. The musical links, composed by Helen Way and Tim Hansen, were neat and thematically pointed, successfully helping to hold the evening together.
In summary, an interesting and partially successful show, which is worth seeing to appreciate different lives of horror and humour as each character expresses his or her thoughts and feelings directly to us.
© Frank McKone M.A., F.A.C.E.
Return to Frank McKone'sHome Page