CRAFTSMAN is a strong hour of theater. Tony Foster’s script is literate and well-crafted, with an interesting plot (technically two plots) that unfolds gracefully. The placement of the gay characters in the two time periods is a subtle, but effective way to contrast the social differences in their eras.
Shaina Rosenthal’s crisp direction keeps the plot moving and the different time periods clear, even when the stage is shared. She gets uniformly solid performances from the talented cast.
What I didn't like
Three small quibbles. Cecil B. DeMille didn’t arrive in Los Angeles until 1913. The acceptance of the fact that the characters could see each other across time felt a bit rushed. The real estate agent pushed the reality envelope a bit too hard for laughs.
My overall impression
Tony Foster’s play is both entertaining and thought-provoking. His imagination and the addition of the gay plot elements makes this play much more than your typical haunted house story. And, while the narrative elements didn’t stray into absurdity, the plot twists never went where I expected. Very refreshing.