Review by STEVE HOWARDJune 16, 2015 certified reviewer
My overall impression
Theatre as expression is an interwoven thread of the heart, mind, and body of the play…in this case, a novella from the early 20th century. Prose into performance…never an easy task, but handled deftly and with great care by Interrobang Departure, Lady into Fox bounds along at an effortless pace, taking the audience along with them.
The style is a blend of presentation, casual sharing, and acting…all of it simple, straightforward and engaging. Never mean in spirit, or vicious in attack, the adaptation, by Samuel Hunter, choses a high road of moral compass, but is never preachy. The show moves lightly along, dipping into and out of the lives of the characters, exposing not only episodes, but the soul of the participants in each instance…including the hounds and ducks.
The staging and lighting, designed by Leland Montgomery, are sparse, but well-suited and functional. Of special note, the fourth wall is obliterated in the production, inviting us in, as near-spectators, often very near, begging the questions – how good is change, when is too much, and, the age-old one, what if we don’t change?
The actors – Nathan Turner, Claire Kaplan, and Spencer Devlin Howard – each take a turn as narrator, sometimes tagging off one another to spin the story onward. Turner and Kaplan, as Richard and Sylvia, respectively, play off one another with the ease of a couple long-practiced in the form. Each is charming, and endearing, in his and her own right. It is Mr. Howard, as Mrs. Cork, and Animals, who is the quirky heart of the piece. His Mick Jagger-esque Duck, who struts the edge of stage, daring interference from Sylvia – or, anyone else, for that matter – is one of the highlights of the evening.
This show will not change your world, but it will give you a pleasant 55 minutes, and possibly leave you asking questions. And, after all, is that not the true measure of theatre? Especially, in a festival that encourages and celebrates the unique and daring voice.