Dangerous Corner: Truth Will Come to Light
There's nothing quite like a good old-fashioned three-act drawing-room mystery. Dangerous Corner, written by J.B. Priestley in 1932, is firmly in this mold, and thanks to the wonderful revival it's being given by Boomerang Theatre Company this September, it is edge-of-your-seat-thrilling theatre.
A publisher has gathered his friends and colleagues for a dinner party for a novelist client. The party veers from the light cocktail chatter when one of the guests recognizes a cigarette box that she couldn't possibly have seen before… And the publisher, searching for truth, pulls and pulls at that piece of inconsistent yarn until more unravels than he could have expected, including information about his brother's mysterious suicide.
The twists and turns of the piece I won't give away here, but I'll just say that the audience was gasping with shock and delight throughout, and gleefully discussing possible motives and consequences during both intermissions.
Direction by Philip Emeott (whose work I have enjoyed before, both as an actor and director) kept things moving and brought out all the subtext wonderfully. The play was originally produced in the West End in 1932, and changes were made before it moved to Broadway. Emeott uses the original script, never seen in New York before.
Chris Thorn as Robert and Catherine McNelis as Olwen anchor the play with the meatiest roles and some wonderful and strong performances, but everyone gets their chance to shine. Karen Sternberg is a staunch presence as Freda, David Nelson is perfectly feckless as Gordon, Jaime West is amusingly blasé then wildly insane as Betty, and Justin R.G. Holcomb made a wonderfully smarmy Stanton (filling in for another actor who's having knee surgery). The always-enjoyable Barbara Drum Sullivan is underutilized in the thankless role of Miss Mockridge, but makes the most of her short cameo on stage.
Dangerous Corner will be performed in rotating repertory with Stoppard Goes Electric (three short plays by Tom Stoppard) and The Heart has a Mind of Its Own by Larry Kirwan.
September 6 - 30, 2007 at CenterStage/NY (48 West 21st Street, 4th Floor, Buzzer #7)
Tickets $20, or $35 for all three shows. Available through theatermania.com
Dangerous Corner Dates: September 17, 18, 26 & 27 at 8PM; September 29 at 2:30PM