ST. NICHOLAS presented by New Edgecliff Theatre through March 10. You can read the show description here.
Michael Shooner is dynamic and real as the Man in this one- person show. Equal parts acting and storytelling, Shooner lays out the life of a faulted and, in many ways, not very likeable man, but at the same time we are able to empathize with elements of his life. Shooner does a great job with his Irish accent throughout the performance. Personally, from a character standpoint, I wouldn’t mind hearing a slightly stronger one.
In striving to create an intimate piece of theater, NET has added seating to the right and left of the stage and blocked off the last few rows of their “regular” seating. The lighting design of Glen Goodwin, however, seems to work against this goal. For the most part I found the lighting to be too harsh and bright for a story about vampires. It also clearly illuminates most of the audience members on both sides of the stage (I sat center), allowing normal audience movement to be distracting. Beyond that, I felt there were missed opportunities to add to the mood of the show. A lighting shift could have been used to complement the well-done sound design of Erin Waters. It might also have been interesting to see a shift whenever a vampire entered the “room.”
I was confused as to director Brian Robertson’s intent for this conversation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an engaging story, but who are we, the audience? Why is this story being told to us? Where is this story being told to us? The context was unclear to me.
Overall ST. NICHOLAS features strong, entertaining work by Michael Shooner that could have benefited from more cohesion on the part of the production team.
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