MOBY DICK REHEARSED presented by Northern Kentucky University through Oct. 6. Read the show description.
Northern Kentucky University Theatre and Dance kick off their 2013-2014 Season with a well-done production of Orson Wells’ MOBY DICK REHEARSED.
The set was very-well done. It took me a few minutes, after being seated, to remember that I was in the Stauss Theatre, NKU’s black box. The constructed stage and proscenium looked great, right down to the footlights. The set pieces also worked well in form and function. I look forward to seeing more work by scenic and properties designer Emily M. Graver in the future. A small issue, I would have liked to have seen the bottom of the painting raised off the floor, so it could have been seen a bit better as it was pieced together.
Nothing sells a show more than an ensemble fully-committed to what they are doing on stage. In that regard NKU’s season opener succeeds. Their hard work was especially evident in both the first act church scene and in the second act’s hunt for the great white whale. It was nice to scan through the ensemble during these scenes and see the individual character choices and reactions. Wes Carman as Starbuck and Kat Moser as the Stage Manager were personal favorites.
At times, I did have issues with the line delivery. MOBY DICK REHEARSED is a very wordy show and it might help if you give the audience a chance to process what is being said. Several of the monologues could use some well-chosen pauses or tempo changes to keep us in the moment.
Several of the monologues were delivered out to the house, but I was unclear if the actors were breaking the fourth wall. If you were, and trying to engage the audience and pull them in, it might help to shift where you are looking from the back wall.
I also felt that in several of the intense scene, the cadence of the speakers seemed to pick up speed as lines switched from actor to actor. In the climatic confrontation, the sound-effects began to overpower Ishmael, causing him to almost yell, further distorting the lines.
Speaking of the sound effects, I was a little confused by the decision to go from on stage effects and musical accompaniment to recorded sound effects and underscoring.
The costumes, designed by Ronnie Chamberlain, were nicely done and appropriate to the time period. I did find the beard and hat combination for ship owner Mr. Peleg, made him look a bit like Tevye from “Fiddler.” Also a reminder men, that hats should come off when you come indoors in the opening scene. This would also keep the Actor Managers face from falling into shadow when he is in front of the stage.
Overall a well-done and entertaining production that keeps the audience involved in this classic tale of obsession.
Complete list of show times for MOBY DICK REHEARSED.
I would enjoy hearing 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.