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THE DIVINE VISITOR presented by Northern Kentucky University through April 26 as part of the Y.E.S Festival of New Plays. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Saturday performance.
As the show neared the end of its first act, I began to worry that there was not enough story to carry the show through another one. Thankfully, the introduction of the last character in the final moments of Act I sent me into intermission much more optimistic.
I wouldn’t have minded if the tone of the first act had been pushed a bit more into farce territory. With the main character being such a cad, his unabashed womanizing wears a bit thin. In both acts, there was a point where the script seems to lose its forward momentum for a scene or two.
The actors portraying the named roles all had well-developed characters. The production also receives good support from the ensemble. Allysun Mellick was fun as Mrs. Margot Ramshaw and brings great energy to the sexually-charged character. Visually though, see appeared to be close to the same age of her former students. As Mr. Wren, Noah Berry has a strong stage presence and was actively involved in every scene. Late arrival McKynleigh Abraham, as Miss Mackenzie Wells, is extremely natural on stage and handles the “fish out of water” aspect of the character well. Abraham and Berry have great chemistry together and I found myself rooting for the coupling.
A few small notes. Berry had a tendency to stand with his downstage leg forward and gesture with his downstage arm. Switching these to upstage would open you up more to the audience. When Andrew Bishop’s character of Mr. Alden was drunk, I had trouble understanding him with the accent. Volume-wise, he didn’t seem to be performing at the same level as his cast mates. Also, the bell on the door of the inn seemed to ring only when people entered the building.
Overall an enjoyable show when it’s firing on all cylinders. I did feel that the show could use a bit more comedic balance between the two acts and that the script could use some massaging.
My rating: 4.0 out of 5
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