“The Real Thing” Review by Rose Desena

This week in theater

 

                           “The Real Thing”

Written by Tom Stoppard

 Photos by Richard M. Johnson

 

There are a few writers that I worship; Tom Stoppard is one of them. His ability to maintain your attention and move through a story is exemplary. Stoppard is a hard core British writer whose work is not always interpreted well when done with actors who are not British trained.

 

TRT_Fox Carney, Cindy Marinangel, Susan Silvestri, Michael Robb_photo Richard M. JohnsonFox Carney, Cindy Marinangel, Susan Silvertri, Michael Robb

 

When I was sent an invitation to review The Two Roads Theater’s production of Stoppard’s award winning play “The Real Thing” I was equally reluctant and eager to check it out. It turned out to be a good choice.

 

The Real Thing premiered in London in 1982, an interesting time in history with couples exploring the questions of monogamy and marriage as an institution.  Stoppard explores love, deceit, infidelity and mixes them with the question of reality.  If you are enthralled with, the story one should ask what is really happing here. The play has  comical moments and allows the audience to question their own ability to love and test their skills in concentration.

 

TRT_Michael Robb, Cindy Marinangel_photo by Richard M. JohnsonMichael Robb and Cindy Marinangel

 

The play opens with Max (Fox Carney) accusing his wife Charlotte (Susan Silvestri) of having an affair, and she storms out angry. The scene is purposely deceiving to the audience.  We are watching a play within a play.

 

Charlotte is married to Henry a playwright. She is an actress acting in a play written by their friend Max. From there it all goes into an honest but intriguing look at what tugs on the strings of our hearts: insecurities, resentment, loneliness all resulting in the final plunge of infidelity.

 

TRT_Susan Silvestri, Anna Laura Singleton, Michael Robb_photo by Richard M. JohnsonSusan Silvertri, Anna Laura Singleton, Michael Robb

 

This is a multi-level play with lots going on. Characters come and go but in the end it all becomes very rational. It’s a situation that everyone can relate to.  It’s complex but then so are relationships.

 

I was pleasantly surprised. Director Linda Alznauer does a good job with the actors and they are brilliant. They nailed their characters, and I didn’t miss the fact that they were American rather then British.

 

TRT_Susan Silvestri, Fox Carney_photo credit Richard M. JohnsonSusan Silvestri, Fox Carney

 

My only complaint is the constant set changes. The set was lovely but the play for the most part is done in a living room, if the actors are on the mark, which they were, they will move you from place to place.  The stage is small and it tends to get sloppy when there is too much going on. Its just over kill, but it didn’t take away from the production its just a pet peeve of mine.

 

That aside this is very admirable, and I think you will enjoy it.  So grab a friend, your wife or your lover or all three and get a little of my man Tom.

 

4 Roses Rating

 

                           “The Real Thing”

Written by Tom Stoppard

Directed by Linda Alznauer

Run: Friday Saturday @ 8pm and Sunday @ 7, closes March 9th

Cast: Fox carney, Susan Silvestri, Michael Robb, Cindy Marinangel,

Jared Boghosian, Anna Laura Singletonm Brandon Irons

 

The Two Roads Theater

4348 Tujunga Ave. Studio City, 91604

(323) 822 7898 or plays 411.com/therealthing

 

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