Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Plays which Play with the Mind

Why not catch a play in the heat of July in Arlington? We are fortunate enough to have two very good plays showing which both include the mystery of the mind and how and why people do odd if not reprehensible acts.

Specifically, I'm speaking of Assassins by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, at Signature Theatre. Director Joe Calarco does a great job of interpreting this rather disturbing play. James Kronzer's set design doesn't quite hit the audience until the end of the play.

While this play is not Sondheim's best play, there is a lull in the middle, the actors do a superb job of letting the audience enter the minds of the assassins. The program notes are very helpful and offer a rather surprising bit of history with regard to the party which has had the most encounters with assassins. Of note are the performances by Will Gartshore, Donna Migliaccio, Mika Duncan, and Priscilla Cuellar.

The other play of note is Two-Headed by Julie Jensen at the Washington Shakespeare Company at Clark Street Playhouse. This simple play enters the minds of two Mormon women played extremely well by Mellissa Flaim and Lee Mikeska Gardner.

Both Assassins and Two-Headed display the thin line that divides the sane from those who step into the deep. After viewing these plays, one comes away thankful that most of the population is still under control.

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