Huntington's Mauritius One Pleasant Surprise After Another
By Theresa Rebeck
Cast (In Order of Appearance)
Philip, Robert Dorfman
Dennis, Michael Aronov
Mary, Laura Latreille
Performances: Through November 12 at the Wimberly Theatre
Box Office: www.huntingtontheatre.org or (617)-266-0800
I'm going to be honest with you. When I found out that I was reviewing a show whose plot centers around philately, I wasn't exactly thrilled. I mean, how exciting can stamp collecting possibly be? And why on earth would anyone decide to write a play about it?But, like any show, I did my very best to go in without any preconceived notions. This was made a bit more difficult when my usual band of theatre-going suspects declined to attend, saying it didn't seem like all too interesting a production, but I managed to walk into the Wimberly Theatre a blank slate, ready for whatever theatre the
And am I glad I did! From the moment the lights dimmed and
the rock strains of electric guitar came pounding through the speakers, I knew
The tale centers around two estranged half-sisters who discover a book of rare, and potentially very valuable, stamps upon their mother's death. Jackie, the considerably younger and financially-minded sibling, wants to sell the stamps and split the profits to pay off the bills and start a new life, while Mary, whose love of philately began at a young age when she worked on the collection with her grandfather, wants to hold onto the collection for sentimental reasons. She, unlike Jackie, believes there are some things more important than money.
Exactly what happened within the family to drive these sisters apart and send Mary packing at 16 years of age we don't actually know, but as Rebeck so distinctly notes in this work, the past is not all that important. Jackie and Mary have had vastly different life experiences that have made them who they are, and really, the present and the future are all that matters.
As you might imagine by now,
Rebeck's greatest strength in this tale is her characters. In
addition to Jackie and Mary, whose lively pace and emotional bon leave no doubt
that the two are family, three other roles round out the ensemble cast of five.
There's Philip, the quintessential philatelist whose love and knowledge of
stamps is apparent from the outset, despite his less than stellar surroundings.
There's Dennis, the slick, twenty-something wannabe conman who has great ideas
but isn't always quite as smart as he thinks he is. And there's
If those descriptions haven't piqued your interest in this
production yet, then perhaps the actors themselves will.
And even in an ensemble piece such as this, there are two
absolutely remarkable performances that make every minute of this production worth
seeing. The first is Michael Aronov, a theatre vet who has graced stage and
screen in several productions and appeared in the cult classic film Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Involved in
this production from it's original reading at the Huntington last spring, Aronov
has the role of the wily Dennis down pat and makes the character not only
tangible, but, surprisingly, likeable. The second is, of course, Marin
Collectors say that the errors on stamps are what make them valuable,
but as far as