The Boatwright (review)
THE PLAY: An unhappy man decides to build a boat to help him cope with his wife’s death. The film student next door starts videotaping the endeavor, but becomes more deeply involved.
THE PRODUCTION: In the titular role, David Bridgewater is always authoritative, but also resorts to his familiar mannerisms. Fortunately, they work effectively for this portrayal. Following up on his Artsie Award for “Best Newcomer,” Tyler Stevens once again exhibits an eager energy and emotional distress that are thoroughly captivating. He never seems to be acting, but inhabiting the character. Local playwright Bo Wilson peppers the easy dialogue of their interactions with the elder’s curmudgeonly comments on culture (some of which garner knowing laughter). He saves most of the drama for Act 2, which abruptly dives into despair, forsaking much of the enjoyable energy of their earlier interactions with extended solos of angst. Director Gary C. Hopper has created a genuine connection between the men, although the spotlighted narrations take us out of the moment. The scene changes are ingeniously covered by video projections that extend the monologues. Rich Mason has designed a perfect workshop (just needed a faux cement floor to complete the effect). Michael Jarett’s lights are effective. Running Time: 2:00
THE POINT: The inter-generational interaction between the two excellent actors creates a scrappy relationship that develops into an emotional bond.
(4 / 5)
At Firehouse Theatre thru 3/4