Level 4 (review)

Level 4 (review)
Level 4 (review)
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)

THE PLAY: A visit inside a video game uncovers the characters who inhabit it.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Full disclosure: I’ve NEVER played a video game, but I know enough about them (including movies I’ve seen) to appreciate the technology, like the way “players” move, the cheesy sound effects and even the computer glitches. As a result, I was able to enjoy the experience. Act One plays out the same situation (with variations) as the game repeatedly restarts, then the second act allows the characters to embrace their humanity.  This uniformly enjoyable cast deftly moves thru the action with skill and comic prowess (surely some of that is due to director Chelsea Burke’s creative touches).  Writer Dante Piro’s concept is compelling and his dialogue is often clever, even though both acts could use shortening. Still, the story has an interesting outcome. The action takes place in a “battle chamber” designed by Dasia Gregg. It features turquoise geometrics with LED trim. Michael Jarett’s lighting uses that trim to colorful and sometimes immersive effect, while Ruth Hedberg’s costumes don’t maintain the high tech illusion (a traditional button down shirt?). All of the tech elements are a bit shoddy. Running time: 2:00

 

THE POINT: Audiences who can relate to video games will especially appreciate the fun of this experience. Everyone else will still find plenty to enjoy in this lively, creative production.

 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

 

At TheatreLAB thru 8/31

 

Click here to watch the video preview featuring an interview with Dante.

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

 

Photos by Tom Topinka.

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