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BWW Review: Alan Ayckbourn's CONFUSIONS at 59E59 is Great Theater

New York area audiences are fortunate to have the opportunity to see Confusions at the 59E59 Theaters now through July 3rd. Brilliantly written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, the show is part of the theater's Brits Off Broadway Festival. Confusions consists of five short plays that are thoughtful, relatable and humorous. It's the stuff that great theatre is made of.

The stories in Confusions are timeless snapshots of real life that perfectly capture human foibles. They showcase Ayckbourn's remarkable gift for dialogue and his keen understanding of relationships. In "Mother Figure" the lines between the behavior of adults and children are blurred as a couple visits their neighbor, a weary mother of young kids. In "Drinking Companion," Harry is a 37 year-old traveling salesman, unfaithful to his wife, who tries every conceivable trick to pick up two young women in a bar. "Between Mouthfuls" depicts two couples dining out separately under very tense circumstances. In "Gosforth's Fete" a local fundraiser goes completely awry as the weather takes a nasty turn and personal secrets are revealed. There is no solitude on a park bench in "A Talk in the Park" when a stranger sits down to chat. As the stories carefully unfold, there are some real surprises and each of them has genuine heart and laugh out loud moments. Cleverly orchestrated, the plays connect to the next one through one of its characters until the final one, "A Talk in the Park."

Confusions' cast captures their roles with complete authenticity. As the five actors play multiple parts, they prove their diverse talents. The cast includes Richard Stacey, Charlotte Harwood, Stephen Billington, Russell Dixon and Elizabeth Boag. The show's characters are wonderfully developed, and the company doesn't miss a beat.

Confusions is presented by Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. The Creative Team has done a wonderful job of bringing the show to 59e59 Theaters with design by Michael Holt; lighting design by Jason Taylor and casting by Sarah Hughes, CDG. The Stage Management Team is Deputy Stage Manager, Jennifer Hirst; AEA Stage Manager, Veronica Aglow and Assistant Stage Manager, Emma Lang.

See Confusions. This theatrical gem is a great way to kick off your summer of entertainment. Metropolitan area audiences can see it along with Alan Ayckbourn's Hero's Welcome that is also at 59E59 Theaters through July 3rd.

Confusions has a running time is 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission. 59E59 Theaters are located at 59 East 59th Street, between Madison and Park Avenues. Single tickets are $70 ($49 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279- 4200 or go to www.59e59.org.

Photo Credit: Tony Bartholomew


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