BWW Review: Convergence of Fantastic Talents - Writing, Directing & Acting - Make ROTTERDAM a Destination You Need to Visit
ROTTERDAM/by Jon Brittain/directed by Michael A. Shepperd/Skylight Theatre/thru December 11, 2017
This Skylight Theatre Company's production of playwright Jon Brittain's west coast premiere of ROTTERDAM receives a stunning mounting with a pitch-perfect aligning of talents supporting and complementing each other. Michael A. Shepperd deftly directs his spot-on cast of four bringing to life Brittain's detailed, sensitive, yet witty script on a person transitioning and its effects on those close to the day-to-day situations.
Alice has moved to Rotterdam to remove herself from her parents as she has yet to come out to them. Alice shares an apartment with her lover Fiona and Fiona's brother Josh -who just happens to be Alice's ex. After seven-years of being with Fiona in Rotterdam, Alice decides to admit she's a lesbian to her parents in a New Year's Eve email. That just happens to be the moment that Fiona decides to reveal to Alice she's really a man in a woman's body.
Ashley Romans nails her transitioning role of Fiona with fierce intensity (and a very cute, sexy dance step or two). Insisting to now be addressed as Adrian, Romans subtly dons a more masculine persona.
Miranda Wynne winningly keeps ROTTERDAM racing along as the enthusiastic, oft-times indecisive Alice. Wynne's nervous ramblings of Alice's dilemmas endear. So predictable to Fiona and Josh, they can each precisely foresee Alice's reversals of decision in well-timed comedy bits. And Wynne's Alice getting high on her first attempt - very funny!
Ryan Brophy totally charms as Josh, Alice's ex and Fiona's older brother. Brophy has Josh's many meditation and big brother speeches down pat. Even if they don't take his advice, they both (as well, as the audience) know he's right. We all should have a big brother as caring (and funny) as Brophy's Josh.
Audrey Cain fully fleshes out Lelani, the seductive co-worker of Alice and Josh. Easy to see the all-too-human combination of self-confidence and insecurity in Cain's Lelani. Haven't been to The Netherlands lately to know if Cain's Dutch accent's authentic or not, but it sure adds to her comic delivery of the simplest lines. Very nice!
Much deserved props to set and lighting designer Jeff McLaughlin for his striking backlit walls that readily morph into apartment, office, coffee house, rooftop, train station, Lelani's bedroom. Love the choreographed set changing by the actors moving around a singular set piece that they easily change from a desk to a bar to lunch counter to a dining table to even more. Hidden set pieces simply just appear, and as easily disappear.
Go to ROTTERDAM. You're sure to like it there, as much as these four characters so want to leave it.