Pedlow and Dina Thomas
Words. Beautiful luscious words. Set in rhymes. Framed in metaphors. Hung in
allegories. Displayed with glorious grace, slick style, and unending rapturous
wit. The rhyme rules here and while some are more forced than others they all
manage to fall lovingly on the ear. The plot of Red Bull Theater’s production
of The Metromaniacs is madness triumphant. It’s the wackadoodle stuff of
classical French farce set to a modern world extreme. Presented as a
translaptation, a combination of translation and adaptation, written by the
gifted and proven playwright David Ives, the text is from the original obscure
1738 play La Metromanie by Alexis Piron. The script itself is most
definitely the central driving force and provides the necessary gunpowder for the
fireworks to follow.
On stage at
The Duke on 42nd Street theater a decadent spring has sprung in the
year 1738 and in the ballroom setting of a grand house in Paris, a play is in
the making and madness is about to ensue. Metromania, a mania for poetry, is
the driving obsession of the period. Love is in the air, so is artistic
creation, familial foibles, and all the players involved are incognito to some
degree or another. The exact story is a furiously fast paced layered delight
that is yours to discover and savor. The sometimes pleasantly dizzying series
of events rests on the shoulders of an extremely capable and stellar assortment
of actors and their characters.
Adam Green, Dina Thomas, Adam LaFevre, Christian
Conn, Amelia Pedlow and Noah Averbach-Katz. Photos by Carol Rosegg
Conn is a comedic cyclone as Damis, a young poet that has fallen in love with a
mysterious female poet that he only knows in print and is later revealed,
unknown to him, to be a man. Mondor, Damis’s valet, as presented by Adam Green
is a hilarious foil that tries to bring things back down to earth again and
again but just manages to get himself further entrenched in it all. Lucille, a
young woman in love with poetry, played with broad Mean Girls sass and
vacancy by Amelia Pedlow finds herself looking for love even though it never
occurred to her to search for it before this day. Noah Averbach-Katz plays
Dorante, the young man in love with Lucille, with zany delight as he attempts
to court her as someone very much other than himself.
Lucille’s maid, in the hands of Dina Thomas, at times coming dangerously close
to stealing the show, is the clever sneaky center of this madcap maze.
Francalou, Lucille’s father, who wrote the evening’s entertainment, desperately
wants to marry off his daughter and also ends up being Damis’s gender fluid
poet, is wonderfully funny and charming as portrayed by theater veteran Adam
LeFevre. And Peter Kybart is a literal blast as Baliveau, Damis’s closeminded,
rich, grumpy, thespian to be, uncle. The entire ensemble is spectacular and
they’re having as much of a good time with this elegant screwball comedy as the
audience is and that plusses the fun.
Dina Thomas, Noah Averbach-Katz, Christian Conn,
Adam Green and Adam LaFevre.
This is a
hold on to your hats boys and girls production and under the direction of
Michael Kahn it’s a roller coaster ride that leaves you breathless with joy.
The singular set by James Noone is gorgeous as are the costumes designed by
Murell Horton and the wigs created by Dori Beau Seigneur. The Metromaniacs
is a must see show for those that love words, wordplay, farce, fantasy,
intelligent and broad slapstick comedy, and lush deliciously presented
theatricality. The Metromaniacs is a rare and sumptuous treat you must
enjoy while you can.
The Duke on
229 W 42nd
New York NY 10036
April 10 –
May 26, 2018