Villain - An American Story

ensemble theatre · from the gut creations · Ages 13+ · United States of America

world premiere
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Review by ROB ANGELL

June 17, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

The directing and writing elevate each other into a flawless theatrical symphony. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen silence used so effectively. Not a single word is wasted, but neither is a single quiet second. Each of these actors inhabit this story to their core. You feel like they’ve stepped into these characters on a molecular level. Jackson and Koelher particularly stood out, but it would be worth it to rewatch this show again and again, focusing on a different character each time. These are actors who (wisely) trust their director and each other. The set design was also outstanding. I loved how little changed between the living rooms. Costumes as well. Stories are told in how a character holds a hat or wears a sweater. I’m still reeling from this gripping, spellbinding production. As a nation, we are having the conversations this play addresses, but we are having them so poorly. I am so grateful that these artists have the courage and skill to mount this production, and truly think that it can help change the national dialog for the better.

What I didn't like

A shorter bench for the Commentators. I’m not very tall and sat in the front row, so my view was blocked a little.

My overall impression

One of the best shows of this year’s Fringe. Powerful, moving, thought-provoking. Unbelievable direction and performances. Writing so seamless it feels like you’re in these living rooms.

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