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THE CORRESPONDENTThe New Phoenix Theatre
By
Mar 31, 2017, 14:25
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Through April 15
THE CORRESPONDENT The New Phoenix Theatre in the Park

Letís put it in one sentence: ďThe CorrespondentĒ isnít very good.
Ken Urbanís script is interesting and certainly a different idea for a story.
Itís just that this production has so many problems, not all of them fixable by the second weekend of the show.
Itís partly the direction, the performances, partially the actualization of the script and partly the set design from John Kehoe.
Thereís also the performance by Richard Lambert in the lead role, not one of his best efforts.
As far as the set is concerned, Lambertís Philip Graves is supposed to be a senior partner in a big Boston law firm and living in a lux suburb.
Thatís not the house on the stage of the New Phoenix Theatre and I will have to ask a college classmate of mine who was a managing partner in a big Boston law firm whether he would live in the kind of apartment building pictured here, with that awful orange dťcor in the living room.
Philip Graves has just buried his wife after a bizarre accident and has sunk into the bottle.
Heís a pigeon for a scam, a web site which promises to send a dying person who will take a message across the River Styx to a loved one, in this case to the wife.
Mirabel (Candace Whitfield) shows up as the dying person and makes the deal for the next world.
This turns into a relationship through the walls of a bottle, as she gradually reveals itís all a scam and Philip and Mirabel fall into a relationship of lust and perhaps some interdependency.
Itís an interesting story, as Philip falls apart and Mirabel sees a way out of her sad private life and then the Young Man (James McMaster) appears, as the reincarnation of Philipís wife.
Now, life isnít always reality, but this reincarnation seems a little bit out there, although we realize itís more explainable.
It just stops holding together, a strong idea carried out weakly.
Itís too bad because this is an example of a local theater trying out a new script, not yet another production of a show we have seen before and perhaps too often.
ďThe CorrespondentĒ is a bad result of a good decision.

A.W.

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