BWW Review: AN INSPECTOR CALLS at Florida Repertory Theatre is Meaningful and Mysterious!
Florida Repertory Theatre's production of AN INSPECTOR CALLS, directed by Michael Marotta, brings a mysterious and chilling twist to a story about morality and the lessons one must learn about kindness.
The plot revolves around an inspector who pays visit to the Birling family, who is celebrating their daughter's engagement. He reveals to them that a young woman has just committed suicide, then begins to question each of them regarding their knowledge of her. I thoroughly enjoyed figuring out all of the connections each character had to the girl who died as the inspector slowly revealed them; there was a lot of foreshadowing right from the beginning of the show, and you had to pay close attention to figure it out, which I found incredibly captivating. The show is like a puzzle, and it's one I was thrilled to try and piece together.
The family includes William McNulty as Arthur Birling, Ellyn Heald as Sheila Birling, Kate Hampton as Sybil Birling, Cole Francum as Eric Birling, and Brendan Powers as Gerald Croft, the man Sheila had just gotten engaged to. Inspector Goole is played by V Craig Heidenreich. I really enjoyed each of their performances, but especially Heald's portrayal of Sheila and Francum's portrayal of Eric. Though each of the characters in the show really does have some unlikable qualities, I found that their two particular characters experienced the most evolution through the plot, which made me feel for them in some ways, and I appreciated that. This show is on the darker, more dramatic side, but it did also have a good amount of humor, particularly from Heindenreich's Inspector Goole. He made many blunt statements that you couldn't help but laugh at, and I think that added a lot to the production.
Not only is this show a thriller that really challenges you with its clever twists and turns, but it also makes you take a step back and think about your interactions with the people around you. Although the show emphasizes that kindness can make a big difference in someone's life, do all of the characters end up learning that by the end? That's the big question, and I guess you will have to see AN INSPECTOR CALLS to find out the answer.
AN INSPECTOR CALLS is playing in Florida Rep's Historic Arcade Theatre now through December 22. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7 PM, Friday-Saturday at 8 PM, with 2 PM matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. To buy tickets, you can visit www.floridarep.org, call Florida Rep at 239-332-4488, or stop by the box office at 2268 Bay Street, Fort Myers, FL, 33901.
Photo Credit: Bryelle Dafeldecker