Review: BRIDGE at The Belmont Theatre

What did our critic think of BRIDGE at The Belmont Theatre?

By: Jun. 10, 2024
Review: BRIDGE at The Belmont Theatre
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Reggie Barton’s debut production of "Bridge" at The Belmont Theatre cleverly employs the backdrop of a charming card game in order to seamlessly blend thought-provoking contemporary themes with witty repartee. The show has garnered an enthusiastic response from audiences, who have lauded its impeccable casting and sharp dialogue.

Set primarily around Mary Todd's dining table, with occasional glimpses into Sally's new condo, the narrative unfolds as Mary Todd (Becky Wilcox), Janie (Dixie Smith), and Frances (Susan Bradfield) search for a fourth player for their weekly bridge game. Enter Sally (Madeline Crumling), a newcomer to town. As the characters learn more about each other, as happens around the card table, Sally reveals secrets about herself that cause everyone to explore their beliefs, values, and fears. 

The production's strength lies in the ensemble cast's seamless connections, deftly navigating the intricate web of relationships that propel the narrative forward. Crumling's theatrical debut shines, her chemistry with each cast member adding depth to the story. Particularly moving is her evolving rapport with Minetola, capturing the essence of Sally and J-Pat's touching friendship. Minetola delivers a sensitive and heartfelt portrayal of J-Pat, especially in scenes opposite Wilcox's confident and hilarious Mary Todd. Dixie Smith’s portrayal of Janie is delightfully outrageous, while Susan Bradfield’s Frances exudes sophistication and charm.

While grappling with weighty themes, "Bridge" maintains a light and humorous tone, eliciting both laughter and reflection in equal measure. The innovative use of the black box theater enhances the storytelling, with creative set design that complements the intimate setting.

What sets "Bridge" apart is its narrative approach. Rather than dwelling on Sally's backstory and choices, the story delves into the reactions of the ensemble cast as they navigate acceptance and understanding. This nuanced portrayal of complex characters resonates deeply with audiences, offering a fresh perspective on challenging topics.

In its premiere at The Belmont Theatre, "Bridge" emerges as a captivating exploration of human connection, wrapped in wit and warmth. Barton's script navigates difficult terrain with grace, infusing the narrative with love and laughter while inspiring hope in its audience.

To learn more about this and other performances at The Belmont Theatre, visit https://thebelmont.org/

Review written with the assistance and support of Julia Davis.




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