BWW Review: THIRD at Milford Center For The Arts

BWW Review: THIRD at Milford Center For The Arts

Third, the final play written by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, closes the Eastbound Theatre's season at the Milford Center for the Arts.

The play is less than perfect, with some credibility issues, but characters are on a par with those from other Wasserstein plays. Laurie Jameson (Linda Gilmore) is a 54-year-old menopausal English lit professor at a small, prestigious New England college. Her classroom, she promises, "is a hegemonic-free zone" where she demands that students look at classics with fresh eyes. That's the mistake her student, Woodson Bull, III, nicknamed Third (Nathan Tracy) makes in his paper about King Lear. She can't believe that a polite Midwestern Republican-leaning young man on a wrestling scholarship has so much depth and insight, so she accuses him of plagiarism and reports him to a review board that will decide his fate at the college.

When not fighting the seven dwarfs of menopause or yelling at the television set about Dubya's war in Iraq, Laurie can be loving, patient, and compassionate. She takes care of her elderly senile father, Jack Jameson (Frank Panzer), has deep conversations with her college age daughter, Emily Imbrie (Betzabeth Castro), and supports her friend and colleague Nancy Gordon (Jacquie Carlsen), who is battling cancer. That's a lot going on in a play, but the cast manages to handle it all with immense grace and empathy.

Although Wasserstein's play dips into her recurring themes of remarkable women, structurally it is not as solid as some of her other plays. Nevertheless, Nancy A. Herman's direction and the remarkable performers make this production a winner. Paige Miglio and Kevin Pelkey's set design and Donald Rowe's lighting design were clever and flexible in this black box theatre.

Third runs through June 17th at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Avenue, Milford (next to the train station). For tickets call 203-878-6647 or visit www.milfordarts.org.

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From This Author Sherry Shameer Cohen

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