Part 1 of Adam Rapp’s The Hallway Trilogy, Rose

Gun Shots, Nudity, Smoking. Walking up to the Rattlestick theater I saw that warning and I couldn’t have been happier. Quite aware of what the little village theatre gets up to I knew I was in for a grand old time seeing the first part of the world premier of Adam Rapp’s The Hallway Trilogy. This first part, Rose takes place in 1953, in the hallway of an apartment building with more than the usual share of characters, rolling marbles, fights, rats and communists, plus some mistaken identities.

Sounds like a rich tapestry? Well it is, but handled beautifully here. Rapp directs his characters well on a stage that is wider than it is deep, often times blocking so we only get the backs of characters, a true no-no most times, but one that doesn’t deter from the action. William Apps “Orest” was a true delight, while Katherine Waterson’s “Rose” betrayed a tragic delicate beauty that was at times funny and at others nerve-racking to watch. My only criticism is that I’m not so sure what’s revealed at the end of the one hour forty minute one-act truly needed to be revealed, considering how strong everything was that went before it.

I do need to mention Beowulf Boritt’s set design as well as scenic artists, Eugenia Furneaux-Arends and John McDermott and all the rest of those hard-working people, for totally transforming the tight Rattlestick space (they moved stage and seats completely around) to present another truly intriguing theatrical experience.

Adam Rapp’s The Hallway Trilogy runs at the Rattlestick theate until March 20th. For tickets and more information, go to www.rattlestick.org

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