BWW Review: DANGEROUS HOUSE at Williamstown Theatre Festival Shines an Intensely Bright Light Over The Berkshires!

BWW Review: DANGEROUS HOUSE at Williamstown Theatre Festival Shines an Intensely Bright Light Over The Berkshires!

Jen Silverman's new play looks at love from different angles as well as things done in the name of love and exposes some rather shocking dangers associated with living and loving freely.

Noxolo has left her South African homeland, her family, and her lover in pursuit of a lucrative career as a footballer, and a fresh start. In London she finds suitable alternatives for what she has left behind. This includes her friend and employer, Marcel, who has also started over and left everything behind. Marcel chooses to focus on his new life and filling it with a family of his choosing without looking back on those who "did not know how to love us". He encourages Noxolo to do the same. BWW Review: DANGEROUS HOUSE at Williamstown Theatre Festival Shines an Intensely Bright Light Over The Berkshires!Driven by the mounting sense that her ex-lover, Pretty Mbane, is in peril, Noxolo is pulled back to South Africa risking everything to unravel the secrets of a life she swore to leave behind. During Noxolo's dogged pursuit we learn how dangerous living openly as gay can be. We learn that in South Africa, where sexual orientation is protected as a human right under the constitution, many people oppose that freedom. We also learn that the practice of "corrective rape" is not considered a crime by many, including the police.

Silverman's work adeptly balances on the fine lines between light and darkness; love and anger; delight and despair. Under the direction of Saheem Ali, the cast leads the audience through a full range of emotion as we watch them work through beginnings and endings in pursuit of new life options while running away from others. The action plays out on a seemingly simple, yet deceptively intricate and elaborate set designed by Dane Laffrey that admirably optimizes the intimate space.

Emmy nominee, Samira Wiley, is delightfully disarming as Pretty Mbane. We find ourselves questioning whether to be weary of her sly smooth operator like moves, or to admire her fearless unabashed directness. She charms her way into our hearts which we earnestly hope won't be broken. Alfie Fuller brings a combination of energy, passion, and spirit to her performance as Noxolo that magnetically draws the audience to her much like the character is drawn to her homeland and Pretty. Philip James Brannon plays Marcel with strength, conviction, and such intense dedication to Noxlo it makes us wish that we were part of his chosen family.

BWW Review: DANGEROUS HOUSE at Williamstown Theatre Festival Shines an Intensely Bright Light Over The Berkshires!Michael Braun brings an authenticity and ease to the character of Gregory that moves us from contempt to admiration for him. Atandwa Kani as Sicelo is both conflicted and complex. We are never quite sure if he is doing the right or wrong thing, nor why. But he does it with a tenderness that leaves us fairly certain his intentions are admirable.

DANGEROUS HOUSE is a powerful and poignant piece that delivers an extremely important message that needs to be seen and heard. Comments overheard upon exiting the theatre suggest that many patrons felt it ranks among one of the festival's best.

DANGEROUS HOUSE is the fourth and final Nikos Stage Production of Williamstown Theatre Festival's 2018 Season with performances through August 19th. It represents yet another triumphant realization of the mission of this regional gem that has been delighting audiences in The Berkshires since 1955.

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From This Author Marc Savitt

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