BWW Review: Mark Liebert's original piece COMPLETE GAME makes its world debut at Studio Playhouse in Montclair.
Mark Liebert's original piece "Complete Game" makes its world debut at Studio Playhouse in Montclair.
Montclair Studio Players presented the world premiere of Complete Game, written and directed by Mark Liebert. This piece was the fifth play of his to be premiered at Studio since 1999. Performances are running for one week from September 26th through September 29th as part of their New Work's Initiative. A talk back followed each of the 8 PM performances where Liebert discussed the journey of writing this piece and also gave the audience an opportunity to ask him and the cast questions about the process of performing a new work.
"Complete Game" is a comedy with heart in nine innings. It is the fall of 1970 in metropolitan New York and everyone is working their way through the ins and outs of relationships and with their relationship to our national pastime. Be it attraction or repulsion, bond or divider, link to the past or hope for the future, problem or resolution or some combination of the above. Complete Game spins a web to snare aficionado, casual fan and non-enthusiast alike.
This new work takes us on a winding journey of several different stories of people who, we eventually find out, are all connected one way or another in the end. Although this type of story is reminiscent of those intertwining storyline based movies such as "Love Actually" or "Valentine's Day" that also unfold through various loosely interrelated tales, this show is still unique in its own way. Liebert's writing is clear all the way through so the audience is not left confused, but it is not obvious in a way where we are able to easily predict what is happening next. The cast brought each character to life, which is not always easy to do with an original piece since there is no previously existing history available for them to use as guidance. While this was the world premiere of "Complete Game," it deserves a life beyond that.
The cast features Ali Archetti, Bill Barry, Debbie Buchsbaum, Samantha Carpel, Christopher Gibbs, John Ivacic, Jessica Latour, Gary Martin, Robert Santarlasci, David Patrick Stuckey and Michael Turner. The crew includes Writer/Director/Set Designer/Properties Master Mark Liebert, Costume Designer Julia Sharp, Lighting Designer Kevin Ohlweiler, Assistant Lighting Designer Shelby Pickelny, Lighting Operator Steve Sandler, Sound Designer Russ Meyer, Sound Operators Spencer Fox and Shelley Sakolsky, Construction Crew Samantha Carpel and Mark Liebert, and Stage Managers Judi Liebert and Sam Silver.
There is only one performance left; Today Sunday September 29that 3:00 PM.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors (discounts available for prepaid groups of 20 or more). Tickets can be purchased by visiting BrownPaperTickets.com or through an online link at studioplayhouse.org/tickets or by calling 973-744-9752. Studio Playhouse is located at 14 Alvin Place, off Valley Road near the Acme, in Upper Montclair.
Next up on the Studio Playhouse Stage: Superior Donuts October 25th- November 9th.
Photo Credit: Mark Liebert