By Byrne Harrison
Photos by John Cooper
Edith Wharton's novella, "Summer," is a fascinating look at the limited world facing a young woman of no means and little education at the turn of the 20th Century. I can fully understand why playwright Martin M. Zuckerman and director John Cooper wanted to bring it to the stage. Zuckerman's adaptation highlights some of the many skills of Turtle Shell Productions, however, the play itself seems too large for the relatively simple story it is telling. The result is beautiful and well-acted, but in need of some editing to focus the drama and bring it to its full potential.
While the rest of the cast performs well, Pauline Walsh deserves particular praise as Royall's housekeeper. With strong comic timing, she often steals the scenes she appears in.
Production values are outstanding, with Kyle Dixon's versatile set leading the way. Christian DeAngelis does an excellent job with his subdued lighting, complimented by Jason Craigs' video and projections. A. Christina Giannini's early 20th Century costumes are superb.
Although director John Cooper does his best to keep the play flowing, there are some slow points along the way. Some judicious cutting would have led to a tighter production, but Summer is still worth a look.
By Martin M. Zuckerman
From the novella by Edith Wharton
Director: John Cooper
Assistant Director: Jason Michael Perugia
Stage Manager: Morgan Watters
Scenic Designer/Painter: Kyle Dixon
Lighting Designer: Christian DeAngelis
Sound Designer: Josh Millican
Costume Designer: A. Christina Giannini
Projection/Video Designer: Jason Craigs
Props Master: Paulina Cooper
Carpenters: Brian Aloysius Kafe, Jason Slack
Publicist/Press Agent: Hilary Russo
Box Office Manager: Paulina Cooper
Featuring: Rebecca Fey Collins (Ally), Lydia Gladstone (Dr. Merkle), Carolyn Gordon (Miss Hatchard), Michael Jay Kaplan (Liff/Evangelist), John P. Keller (Lucius), Daren Kelly (Mr. Miles), Mark Mikulski (Mr. Royall), Brooke Novak (Love), Katy O'Donnell (Julia/Orma/Singer), Christiane Seidel (Charity), Tiffany Simms (Annabel), Pauline Walsh (Verena)
Closed May 15th