by Gregory Spears & Kathryn Walat
Kevin Newbury, dir.
Eric Southern, lights
Amanda Seymour, clothes
Roger Caitlin, The Washington Post
“Baritone Keith Phares, as Paul’s father, has his own deep disapproval, leading Paul to steal money and skip town to fulfill his dreams. After one drunken night with a Yale student he meets (Michael Slattery), the reality comes crashing down on him — in the form of descending lights, a nifty touch by lighting designer Eric Southern in the spartan black box set design of Timothy Mackabee.”
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
“Kevin Newbury's focused directing, Timothy R. Mackabee's set (a shiny black runway between two tiers of spectators, with the orchestra at one end and a bank of industrial lights above), and Amanda Seymour's period costumes evoked Paul's inner and outer lives.”
Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene
“I cannot praise enough the imaginative and winning concert of design elements of this show, so economically yet lovingly wrought. Amanda Seymour’s monochromatic period costumes are beautifully designed with detail one can appreciate sitting so close to the action. Set designer Timothy R. Mackabee has created onstage a long hallway floor, painstakingly assembled in a pattern of oblong wood pieces, fitted together and polished to a gleaming ebony. With a few straight-backed wooden chairs and a chaise that are easily brought on and off, Mackabee transforms Artisphere’s black-box theatre from a chilly boarding school room to an elegant room in New York’s poshest hotel, and from a street in the city to a train trestle, a grave, and, perhaps, the mysterious black universe itself.
At one end of this long corridor and opposite to the orchestra, up against the wall are mounted several lights against the wall to shine directly at eye level emulating the front end of a train. Overhead another bank of lights, those industrial pendants I mentioned, are mounted on a grid and hung oppressively low to suggest the steely lights of a hospital operating room or morgue. They are creatively designed by Eric Southern to dominate the action in the first scene then lift up, as if magically, and symbolically open up the space for Paul to escape into the airy spaciousness of New York. These lights return dramatically, pressing downwards slowly and claustrophobically, making Paul’s inescapable end.”