BWW Reviews: The Theater's THE REAL THING
Tom Stoppard's autobiographical parallel The Real Thing focuses on the successful playwright Henry and his close circle of family and friends. Starring his wife, Charlotte, Henry's newest work examines the intricacies of love, honesty and infidelity. Soon, as this play within a play continues, the lines between fiction and reality start to blur. Relationships break, bend and change, as lust, deceit and selfishness take center stage, leaving us all searching for 'the real thing'.
Stoppard's witty work was artfully produced by the Wilma Theater with an array of spot-on portrayals. As Henry, Kevin Collins brilliantly mastered the quick wordplay, able to beautifully portray strength and vulnerability within moments. Karen Peakes created a sharply intelligent Charlotte and Suzy Jane Hunt was a free-spirited yet solid Annie.
The Wilma Theater's production itself was cleverly constructed, nicely supporting the constant shifting realities. Our initial experience is that of a full living room set but it turns out to be merely an illusion, leaving a relatively bare stage that forces the audience to imagine what is there or not. Characters not in the current scene even sit on the sides, as if listening in to what's going on and what's being said about them. It's a clever parallel, asking us to create the reality, just as the characters are in search of the same, the real thing.
Photo Credit: Alexander Iziliaev