BWW Review: NINE at Theatre Three
When Theatre Three announced their current season, I was delighted to see Nine on the docket. I attended another production years ago and have been eager to see it again. This strong showing is under the superb direction of Jeffrey Sanzel and runs through March 23rd at the Port Jefferson venue.
The tale, set in the 1960s, takes place in the city of Venice. It centers on Guido Contini who is dreading his upcoming 40th birthday. We follow him as he is facing a midlife crisis that seems to be blocking artistic whims cornering him in a web of romantic complications; Both in real life and his mind. Arthur Kopit's book takes much insight from the viewer as they switch between reality and Guido's mind. Moreover, the music, by Maury Yeston, is rich and moving.
Among the cast, Long Island theatre vet Brian Gill is superb as Guido. He has a passionate take on the role and makes a great team with Christina Muens as Luisa, his wife. Indeed an audience favorite is Ms. Muens' heart-wrenching performance of "My Husband Makes Movies" which doesn't leave a dry eye in the house. You will also find Debbie D'Amore delightful in the role of Liliane La Fleur. She is sassy and fabulous providing most of the comic relief. In truth, I could go on and on about the whole company but as you can tell they are all exceptional.
Mr. Sanzel's talented creative team has created a visually stunning production. To work on their marriage, Guido and Luisa vacation at a spa which is where most of the action takes place. First, Randall Parsons' earth tone set is well done. Several large columns fill the stage with a bi-level staircase. This is enhanced stunningly by Ronald Green III's striking costumes and Robert W. Henderson, Jr's atmospheric lighting.
Is Nine for everyone? That, perhaps, is up for debate. Is Theatre Three's incarnation exciting and should you see it? The answer to that is a resounding yes. A great cast and a Tony-winning show make for an entertaining night of theatre.
Book by Arthur Kopit, Music & Lyrics by Maury Yeston, Adapted from The Italian by Mario Fratti, Based on 8 ½ by Fellini, Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, Musical Direction by Jeffrey Hoffman, Choreographed by Nicole Bianco, Scenic Design by Randall Parsons, Costume Design by Ronald Green III, Lighting Design by Robert W. Henderson, Jr., Stage Management by Melissa Troxler
Starring Brian Gill, Christina Muens, Abigail McCabe, Linda May, Lindsay DeFranco, Debbie D'Amore, Michelle LaBozetta, Briana Ude, TracyLynn Conner, Brayden Bratti, and Stephanie Moreau with Melanie Acampora, Cassie Beauchamp, Taylor Burgess, Ashley Ferraro, and Krystal Lawless
For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (631) 928-9202 or visit www.theatrethree.com
Photo by Brian Hoerger, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.