BWW Review: THE PRICE at Gulfshore Playhouse

BWW Review: THE PRICE at Gulfshore Playhouse

Gulfshore Playhouse's production of Arthur Miller's THE PRICE showcases a difficult relationship between two estranged brothers who have seemingly gone in different directions with their lives. They happen to come together again after several years, because their old family home is being torn down, and they in turn need to sell all their parents' things.

Gulfshore Playhouse never fails to thoroughly impress me with the attention to detail in their productions. THE PRICE involves many, many props, and they all seemed to have a purpose in bringing the show to life. The set itself was beautiful, and I absolutely felt like I was peering into an old attic that held many memories for these two brothers. Kristen Martino, the scenic designer of THE PRICE, did an excellent job with this production.

Another aspect of the show that I loved was the lighting; it was done so well that it truly looked like sunlight was streaming in through the attic window. I have to commend the lighting designer, Jimmy Lawlor, for this. Details like this add to the production value so very much, to me, and I was quite amazedBWW Review: THE PRICE at Gulfshore Playhouse with how brilliantly executed this production was.

The cast of Gulfshore Playhouse's THE PRICE held some very well-rounded actors. Stuart Zagnit, who played Gregory Solomon, has performed in an incredible range of shows on Broadway and beyond, from Newsies on Broadway, to the role of The Wizard in the 2nd National Tour of Wicked, to Jessica Jones on Netflix, and many more. He was excellent as Gregory Solomon in THE PRICE. Zagnit had some of the best lines and moments in the show, and I enjoyed the chance to see his talent and ability to really become the character he is portraying.

Jeffrey Binder and David Whalen, who play Victor Franz and Walter Franz, respectively, also have extensive theatre credits on and off Broadway, and they have been in many roles in film and television. Both of these men were incredible at creating an estranged brotherly dynamic between their two characters. Again, it felt as if the audience was there, experiencing this uncomfortable reunion between brothers who can't seem to come to an agreement on much of anything. When past secrets were revealed in the show, the tension was very high; it felt real, thanks to their amazing acting abilities. Binder and Whalen both were phenomenal at taking on these characters BWW Review: THE PRICE at Gulfshore Playhouseand this storyline.

Marilee Talkington, who played Esther Franz, was fantastic. Talkington also has a very impressive theatre background, and I can definitely see why she was chosen to portray Esther. I appreciated her character very much; she didn't back down, even when the other characters pushed her aside. Talkington did a wonderful job at portraying Esther's emotions and assertiveness.

One thing I did struggle a bit with in THE PRICE is the length of the story. It is a rather slow plot, and it was incredibly long for what actually takes place in the world of the show. This is one of Gulfshore Playhouse's more intense and emotional shows this season, and I am sure many people will love it simply because it is much slower and it does involve a lot of conflict, but it wasn't exactly my cup of tea--and that is perfectly okay. I appreciated the acting and the production value very much, regardless of the storyline not being my favorite, and that says a lot about how great Gulfshore Playhouse is.

If you are looking for a more low-key play that makes you think about the conflicts between obligation, desires, time, and money, THE PRICE is absolutely for you. Gulfshore Playhouse manages to bring to life a complex, compelling show that many people will be able to learn something from. Every aspect of this production was thought out very well, and I encourage you to see it if you are interested in experiencing an intense night of theatre. Gulfshore Playhouse has a lot of variety through the rest of their season, so regardless of if THE PRICE sounds right for you, I absolutely recommend seeing one of their beautiful shows this season.

THE PRICE is playing at Gulfshore Playhouse now through February 4. Evening shows begin at 8 p.m.; matinees begin at 3 p.m. Show subscriptions are available and include priority seating, exclusive events and discounted pricing. Tickets range from $39-64, with student tickets available for $20. All show tickets are $30 two hours before a performance. For purchase information, visit www.GulfshorePlayhouse.org or contact 866-811-4111.

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