BWW Review: THE CALLING at NJ Rep is an Outstanding and Poignant New Play
"Do I seem like prodigal son material to you?"
by Carl in The Calling
New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep) kicks off their 2018 season of new plays with the world premiere of The Calling written by Joel Stone, directed by Evan Bergman and starring Ames Adamson and Jared Michael Delaney. This is one to see. The stellar cast and meticulous direction bring Stone's well-crafted, poignant play to life on the Long Branch stage.
The Calling was originally commissioned by Stage Exchange (Stage X), a partnership formed between NJPAC and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance to develop cutting-edge works by notable New Jersey playwrights.
In the show, Father Dan, a Roman Catholic priest for 30 years, has just performed a funeral service for one of his parishioners, Mrs. Callahan. In the empty church, he is surprised to find Carl asleep in one of the church pews. Carl turns out to be an ICU Nurse who cared for Mrs. Callahan just before her death. As Father Dan and Carl discuss their respective professions, their communication becomes spirited and contentious. Carl is depressed and cynical about life as he deals with death everyday in his work while Father Dan ardently believes that people's fate lies in God's will. As the two men communicate, alarming truths are revealed and conflicting attitudes about faith, responsibility, and salvation define their brief encounter.
Ames Adamson as Father Dan and Jared Michael Delaney as Carl are superb in their roles. They master the play's intense, captivating dialogue along with the occasional humor. The actors bring such a sense of authenticity to their characters, audiences will feel they are part of the scene unfolding in the church.
The Creative Team has done a great job of bringing The Calling to the stage. They include scenic design by Jessica Parks; lighting design by Jill Nagle; costume design by Patricia E. Doherty; sound design by Merek Royce Press; properties design by Maris Procopio; Kristin Pfeifer is the Production Stage Manager; Adam von Pier is the Assistant Stage Manager/Company Manager; Brian P. Snyder is the Technical Director.
NJ Rep's Executive Producer, Gabor Barabas and Artistic Director, Suzanne Barabas are once again presenting metro area audiences with an outstanding new play. It is their 21st season and The Calling is the 124th show presented by the company. This production will inspire interesting conversations about the human condition. See it while you can.
The Calling runs through February 4, 2018. The show runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $46 (premium seating + $5). Annual subscriptions are $225 per person, and include unlimited attendance of all shows and staged readings. Reservations may be made by phone at 732-229-3166 or online at http://www.njrep.org/.
Photo Credit: Suzanne Barabas