Friday, November 29, 2013

updated | Reviews: OUR TOWN at the Naples Players (2)

The Naples Players offer up an intriguing - if inconsistent - take on Thornton Wilder classic "Our Town" for the holiday season. Director Michael Scanlan takes his cast into the crowd in a bid to embrace everyone into "our town." I wish the experiment had taken flight.

The three-act play meanders through simple scenes in the everyday life of a tiny New Hampshire hamlet. Each exchange of dialogue contains an appreciation for life.

The audience participation element just doesn't work, nor do design and staging elements that seem completely out of character with the play. Warm performances from amateurs that rarely get a chance to shine offer the touching heart at the center of the play, of Grover's Corners and of "our town" this holiday season.

"Our Town"  plays 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 21 at the Naples Players. Tickets are $35. Call (239) 263-7990 or "Our Town" runs three acts with two ten-minute intermissions.

Read the complete review:

Other reviews:
Nancy Stetson (Florida Weekly)
Not our kind of town: Too many gimmicks, not enough heart
“Our Town” has so much more to it than what this production gives us. If you read the play, it is powerful and nuanced and moving. Mr. Scanlan tries to make it special, but at times I felt the same way I do while watching some science fiction movies: that all the attention has been given to the special effects rather than to the development of the characters. I wish this director had spent less time adding things to the script and more time rehearsing the actors so that everyone, down to the smallest towns-person, was a fully developed person. (read the full review)

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