Review Roundup: ORLANDO Opens at Signature Theatre

The production stars Taylor Mac, Janice Amaya, Nathan Lee Graham and more.

By: Apr. 22, 2024
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Review Roundup: ORLANDO Opens at Signature Theatre
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Signature Theatre is presenting Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando, adapted from Virginia Woolf’s novel and directed by Will Davis. Orlando was written by Woolf for her lover, Vita Sackville-West. The titular character’s adventures begin as a young man, when he serves as courtier to Queen Elizabeth. Through many centuries of living, he becomes a 20th-century woman, trying to sort out her existence. 

The production stars Taylor Mac in the title role. The cast also features Janice AmayaNathan Lee Graham, Lisa Kron, and TL Thompson.

The creative team is Will Davis (Director and Choreographer), Arnulfo Maldonado (Scenic Design), Oana Botez (Costume Design), Barbara Samuels (Lighting Design), Brendan Aanes (Sound Design and Composition), Ann C. James (Intimacy Coordinator), Matt Carlin (Props Supervisor), and Kasson Marroquin (Production Stage Manager). 

See what the critics are saying...

Review Roundup: ORLANDO Opens at Signature Theatre Austin Fimmano, New York Theatre Guide: Ruhl’s adaptation of Orlando pulls heavily from the source material, which can end up feeling like a distant narration rather than an emotionally involved story. That said, the cast are all endlessly personable. Laughs abound throughout the duration of the show’s 100-minute runtime

Review Roundup: ORLANDO Opens at Signature Theatre Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: The episodic adventures should be delightful, but they are instead removed and remote, for a compound of reasons. Ruhl’s script relies on narration rather than dialogue (of which there is admittedly relatively little in Woolf’s novel.) Six of the cast members (all but Mac) spend most of their time not as characters but as chorus members. They divvy up their exposition, often one single line after another. And they are often huddled together on a stage that is essentially bare – which results in a vastness that swallows up their lines.

Review Roundup: ORLANDO Opens at Signature Theatre James Wilson, Talkin' Broadway: Occasionally, Davis's staging, which includes periodic dance breaks (and with assistance from Brendan Aanes's sound design, captures the thrum of a discotheque), overdoes the satirical elements as if to emphasize the relevance of the situations and themes. Yet the cast (which is rounded out by the impressively mutable Jo Lampert and TL Thompson) are adept at reining in their performances as moments veer toward camp excesses.

Average Rating: 66.7%

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