The one thing I have been able to count on in recent NYC theatre has been Rattlestick Theatre. They present plays with rich characters played by the very best actors, offer compelling stories and utilize their small space for arresting sets. I have seen both re-imaginings of classics here as well as premiers as I did with their latest There Are No More Big Secrets. Playwright Heidi Schreck says of her new play â€œâ€¦itâ€™s inspired and informed by the time I spent in Russiaâ€¦itâ€™s not exactly about Russiaâ€¦itâ€™s the taking-off point,â€ and Secrets does indeed take off.Â There is a lot more to this two-act than at first meets the eye and maybe there are a few points that donâ€™t need to be made to move the action along, still, as always, this Rattletick production is a gem. With outstanding performances by Christina Kirkâ€™s kinetic funny/sad Maxine; Gibson Frazier as the seemingly benign but deeply strong Charles; Adam Rothenbergâ€™s spinning dervish of father/husband Gabe; Dagmara Dominczykâ€™s darkly sad tortured Nina and Nina Alexanderâ€™s poised and perfect Lana. Schreckâ€™s writing is thoughtful and rich and the performances are about the best youâ€™re likely to see on or off Broadway.
A nod must go to set designer John McDermott; heâ€™s designed some fantastic sets on this small stage and this might be his best so far, and to Matt Freyâ€™s lighting design helping us follow the subtle play of magic with his use of full and half lighting.
There Are No More Big Secrets runs at the Rattlestick Theatre until December 12. For more information go toÂ www.smarttix.com/tickets.