BWW Reviews: Horizon Theatre's THE BOOK CLUB PLAY
I recently had the pleasure of an invitation from the Horizon Theater to see their performance of The Book Club Play.
When you first arrive to the Horizon Theater, nestled amidst a neighborhood full of adorable houses, you are struck by how intimate the space is. The size of the actual theater itself would almost invoke thoughts of little community playhouses - but this "little playhouse" carries a ticket price to the tune of between $25 and $30. My first instinct was how a little theater could ask such a big price and stay in business - then I saw the show.
I can say, without hesitation and a crystal clear conscience, I would have gladly paid more. I usually save my yea or nay until the end, but let me give you the spoiler now; it was phenomenal!
The show is a celebration for all booklovers everywhere. Being a complete bookworm myself, it was refreshing to see books held with such respect and those that read them to be viewed with an honest admiration and without an ironic, tongue-in-cheek sarcasm that the bookish stereotypes so often are a victim of. The plot itself will have you laughing and engaged from the first meeting all the way through the arguments about the Twilight saga.
The direction for this was smartly done and top notch. There were a plethora of hilarious moments throughout the script that could have been easily missed were Jeff Adler not at the helm to pull them out with comedic timing and expressive undertones. The character of Rob, played by Brian Brendle, hit the ground running with countless one-liners that set the mood and prepped the audience for the hilarity of the play to come.
The set was the interior of an upscale house that reflected its owner, Anna played by Wendy Melkonian. Everything in its place, well organized, kept together, smart - she is the stereotypical "perfect woman" with the "perfect house". In honesty, the colors chosen and the way it was all arranged made me want to live there too.
The cast, while strong and perfectly chosen and executed, never suffered from one outshining the other. Each one of them had you loving them for a different reason, and cheering their book choices on. By the end, you honestly felt like part of the book club.
Although the play wasn't incredibly deep, there were thought provoking moments. Their discussion of the validity of the claim of Twilight to be literature was priceless and the conclusions they come to will leave you with no choice but to agree. The play is also littered with facts about books that will be new to most members of the audience, and while there are plenty of jokes that only readers will get, there is never a moment that makes anyone feel left out.
The Horizon Theater has a well-earned reputation for excellence in the arts community and with this recent show it is easy to see why. They even go so far in support of the arts as to have a form in the program to help patrons express to Fulton County why it is so important that they not go through with their planned one million dollar cut from the arts budget. I appreciated that.
If you are looking for a wonderful time, I strongly encourage you to go see The Book Club Play at the Horizon Theater, located at 1083 Austin Avenue in Atlanta. The show will be running from January 17 to February 23.