GHOST-WRITER Review

Links to all reviews can be found on the BTC REVIEWS page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my FaceBook fan page. You can receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

Dennis Parlato as Franklin Woolsey & Annie Fitzpatrick as Myra Babbage. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

GHOST-WRITER presented by Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati through Oct 30. You can read the show description here.

If I had to give you one reason to go see GHOST-WRITER, the choice would be easy: Annie Fitzpatrick as Myra Babbage. But it’s the strength of the show as a whole that places GHOST-WRITER on my list of favorite productions of the 2011-2012 season.

Regarding Fitzpatrick as Babbage, it is my favorite performance by the actress to date. She makes it very easy to like and admire Myra Babbage, the devoted secretary to novelist, Franklin Woolsey. Her performance is finely-nuanced and I really enjoyed the society-restrained energy of the character. Since this is Babbage’s story, Fitzpatrick never leaves stage for the entire 90 minutes. Also impressive is the sheer volume of dialogue. And as a friend and I half-joked, it would have been much easier for Annie to highlight the lines that aren’t hers in her script.

Annie Fitzpatrick as Myra Babbage & Lourelene Snedeker as Vivian Woolsey. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

Under the direction of D. Lynn Myers, Fitzpatrick also receives strong support from Dennis Parlato as novelist Franklin Woolsey and Lourelene Snedeker as his wife, Vivian. Parlato’s stoic performance works well for the character and allows him to easily be a presence, even if he is not present. Snedeker is outstanding as the wife threatened by a relationship that is, in ways, more intimate than her marriage.

I enjoyed the language of the script. How it evoked the time-period and the attitudes of that time. The structure of the play works well, allowing the audience to see the story…funny, the structure is similar to several biography television shows. A present day (in this case, Nov. 1919) interview inter-cut with flashback scenes of pivotal moments of the story. It adds a contemporary-influence to a show that begins over a century ago.

Annie Fitzpatrick as Myra Babbage, Lourelene Snedeker as Vivian Woolsey & Dennis Parlato as Franklin Woolsey. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

Even though the set demands for the show are minimal, I really enjoyed the choices Brian c. Mehring made in his design. My favorite element was the “visible to the audience” room door. It opened up the space and gave some nice options for staging and lighting. Also on the technical side, excellent sound design work from Matthew Callahan.

The period setting of the play would not be complete without properties by Shannon Rae Lutz and costumes by Erin Amico.

Bottom line, don’t let the show title fool you. This wonderfully-done production of GHOST-WRITER is more love story than ghost story. One that I enjoyed hearing, and seeing.

Click here for a complete list of show times, articles and other reviews for GHOST-WRITER.

I would love to hear what you think about the show or my review. You can post your comments below.

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4 Comments

Filed under Reviews

4 responses to “GHOST-WRITER Review

  1. joe

    I agree wholeheartedly with your review of Ghost-Writer! Ms Fitzpatrick’s finest performance to date, and coming right on the heels of her wonderful turn in CSC’s “A Man for All Seasons”! ETC’s season has lead off it’s season with two out of the park home runs!

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  2. Laura A. Hobson

    Yes, I thought Ghost-Writer was great. Annie Fitzpatrick does a fine job in her role. Since I’m an Administrative Assistant, and my father was a writer, I enjoyed the play even more. Dennis Parlato gives his usual fine performance; I hope to see him more. Costumes were period-perfect and quite attractive. Overall, a good production.

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  3. Snooze. I agree, Annie Fitzpatrick did a wonderful job. Unfortunately, Annie nor the director can make this play interesting or even remotely engaging. I really think it lacked nuance, and left us with nothing to ponder. Drama? No. Comedy? No. Period piece? No. Pyschological? Intuitive? Provoking? No. No. No. I’m sorry but your reviews teem with excitement for all things Ensemble and don’t see depth in other theater productions. I respect your views, but do not use BTC as a source for guidance in my theater selections.

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  4. Realeyesu, thank you for taking the time to comment. My reviews are my opinions of what I see from my seat in the audience. My reviews are usually not in 100% agreement with anyone else’s views and that is fine. In fact, judging from the traffic, most people seem to read my reviews after they see the performance themselves. I’m glad you took the time to see the show for yourself and for sharing your thoughts. I would however disagree that two positive reviews in a row doesn’t mean my reviews “teem with excitement for all things Ensemble.” It just means I personally enjoyed their first two productions. See you in the audience.

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