CORAM BOY 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.

CORAM BOY was presented by UC College Oct. 26-30. You can read the show description here.

CCM Drama opens the Main Stage season with a well-done, visually-imaginative, Grimm-esque fairy tale.

Director Richard Hess handles the large ensemble extremely well. The inventive staging creates striking stage pictures but still maintains the focus on the characters.

Will Kiley, Hanna Halvorson as The Angel & Joe Markesbery. Photo by Richard Hess.

It did feel like the pacing dragged a bit in the first half of the first act, due in part to the amount of exposition. However once things “hit the fan,” the act raced downhill to one of the most shocking, in-your-face act finales I have seen. I also enjoyed that I was at a loss as to how the story would continue after intermission. I found the second act to be tight throughout and very involving. And nothing adds tension to a climatic scene like a gun on stage with too many potential victims.

Claron Hayden as Otis Gardiner. Photo by Richard Hess.

Even though the set was predominately black, there was ample texture within the set [designed by Tom Umfrid and Tamara L. Honesty] and excellent lighting [designed by CCM student Tim Schmall] to give the set character. The use of the turn table to change settings and angles added to the nightmarish quality of the show. One complaint, perhaps a little fog would have helped hide the holes for the too-clean, groping hands.

John Garrett Walters as Aaron and William Brown as Meshak Gardiner. Photo by Richard Hess.

For the most part, a strong ensemble. Performances that stood out for me were William Brown as Meshak Gardiner, Claron Hayden as both aspects of Otis Gardiner, Bennett Bradley as Mrs. Lynch, Hope Shangle as Lady Ashbrook, Molly Massa as Mrs. Milcote, John Garrett Walters as Aaron and Shaun S. Sutton as Toby.

Bottom line, a well-staged, well-acted dark, drama perfect for the weekend before Halloween. Definitely on my list of favorite shows for the season.

Click here for information on for CORAM BOY.

I would love to hear what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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