BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing

Megan Nix's Laurie is highly voyeuristic in the first act, watching the action from her perch and drawing. In the second act she gets to speak and has a run in with a drug dealer that she is indebted to. Other than allowing the men to show their own empathy and sympathy to a human in need, her plot seems unnecessary in the play itself.

The Cowboy, played by Andrew Adams, is imposing and rough. His Texas accent left a lot to be desired unless he was purposely attempting to do a Northeasterner's bad attempt at a bad Texas accent.

As Gilley, Luke Balest is a contemptuous little thug. Midge, and even Nat, pays the twerp off for protection. His big climatic scene in the first act occurred during a moment when the lights failed. Acting only in the dim blue wash of work lights, his menacing and vile Gilley was aided by the shroud of distracting darkness.

John Stevens' Set Design brilliantly captures the feel of Central Park, with subtle nods to the architecture of the 73rd Street Trefoil Arch Bridge and the 72nd Street Bethesda Terrace. It is not faithful to either, but appears highly influenced by both. Lastly, there are only two graffiti tags on the set, which seems sparse for the 1982 setting.

Tom Aldridge's light design does a nice job showing the transition of time on the upstage cyclorama. Also, his use of gobos to create the appearance of trees on the cyclorama is a great touch. At the climax of act one the theatre lost its lighting, but Sam Balest quickly thought to throw on the pale blue work lights. The actors continued to perform the act as if nothing has happened. Sadly, it did take the audience out of the moment, but the cast and crew must be commended for their professionalism and understanding that, no matter the circumstances, the show must go on.

Fight Choreography was weak. A lot of the moves and actions were telegraphed by the cast before they happened, making it look more rehearsed and less realistic.

Costuming was fine for most of the cast; however, as the play is set in 1982 costuming choices for Wayne White's Danforth and LeeAnne Denny's Clara were irksome. Please hide the Under Armour logo on the track pants, as the company was not founded until 1996. Likewise, the bright neon Adidas shoes may be throwbacks to 80s styles in color choices, but they are modern shoes. Regarding LeeAnne Denny, I find it hard to believe that a successful Manhattan real estate agent in 1982 would be caught dead in a jacket without mild to severe shoulder pads, and ballet flats would not have been an option for shoes.

Playhouse 1960 puts a lot of effort and energy into their production of I'M NOT RAPPAPORT, but in the long run it was not my favorite evening out at the theatre. The play feels awkwardly disjointed at times and is distinctly dated, especially considering its references to the communist scare and the dangers constantly lurking in Central Park. Mix in the ambling pace, the distracting costume decisions, the general lack of humor, random peppering of characters that seem both unbelievable and out of place, a hovering right heel, an awkward attempt at a Texan accent, and the unfortunate and untimely blackout and there is just too much that distracted me to ensure that I fully enjoyed the production. Yet, as a fan of the large and busy theatre scene in Houston, I anticipate Playhouse 1960's next theatrical offering.

I'M NOT RAPPAPORT runs through February 9, 2013 at Playhouse 1960. The company will follow this show with a production of Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS from March 8 - 23, 2013. For more information and tickets, please visit http://www.ph1960.com or call (281) 587 - 8243.

Photos by and courtesy of Christne Weems.

BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing

BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing
Midge (Sedric Willis) and Nat (John Stevens).

BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing
Laurie (Megan Nix), Midge (Sedric Willis), and Nat (John Stevens).

BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing
Danforth (Wayne White), Nat (John Stevens), and Midge (Sedric Willis).

BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing
Nat (John Stevens) and Clara (LeeAnne Denny).

BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing
Laurie (Megan Nix), Midge (Sedric Willis), and Nat (John Stevens).

BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing
The Cowboy (Andrew Adams) and Nat (John Stevens).

BWW Reviews: I'M NOT RAPPAPORT Contains Few Laughs and Uneven Pacing

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David Clarke David Clarke has had a lifelong love and passion for the performing arts, and has been writing about theatre both locally and nationally for years. He joined BroadwayWorld.com running their Houston site in early 2012 and began writing as the site's official theatre recording critic in June of 2013.


 
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