BWW Previews: LE DERNIER REPAS: A LOVE STORY at Counter-Productions Theatre Company

BWW Previews: LE DERNIER REPAS: A LOVE STORY at Counter-Productions Theatre Company

Otto Von Bismark once advised anyone who enjoyed sausage or legislation to avoid seeing how they are made. From first hand experience, I can report that this warning does not apply to the theater. I sat in on a rehearsal of Counter- Productions Theatre Company's upcoming offering, the world premiere of local playwright David Eliet's "LE DERNIER REPAS: A LOVE STORY" and came away intrigued. The play follows two Frenchmen, Robert (Geoff Leatham) and Louis (Ted Clement), sitting down for the lavish meal of their dreams. Set against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the two reminisce on lost love, family, friendship, and food. I watched Leatham and Clement go through their opening, which involved a lengthy description of the French onion soup they were eating, and can only advise you not to turn up hungry; the descriptions were mouth watering. What I saw was two experienced actors, comfortable with each other and with the material.

Director Rufus Qristofer Teixeira became familiar with this work through a staged reading last year and found himself inspired by "the depth of connection between the two main characters, which speaks to the power of friendship, compassion, and humanity in the face of horrifying events. It's a lesson born of the time frame of the play but one that resonates loudly in the here and now." He also told me he immediately saw Leatham and Clement in the roles: They are experienced actors and longtime friends, who will "know their lines and not bump into the furniture," as the great Spencer Tracey once advised. They will not get in the way of the material.
According to Eliet, "Le Dernier Repas" (which translates "The Last Supper," and doesn't that hint at darkness) was the result of ten years of writing about The Holocaust that started in 1994 when I met Magda Bednarova in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. She had saved the life of her then boyfriend, and her husband had saved 200 Jewish lives." So this play is not My Dinner with Andre, but a much darker tale, given its setting. In the small slice I saw, the play took a turn toward darkness when Louis reports that his wife has just died. I do not know how dark it gets, but Counter-Productions warns, "This production contains adult content and graphic descriptions of violence."

"LE DERNIER REPAS: A LOVE STORY" runs only from March 22nd to the 25th at AS220's Black Box Theatre. Like Christo's Gates, this play flowers for a very short time. Admission is $20.00 and you can contact the theater at www.cpctcri.com or by calling (401) 491-2205.The theater is wheelchair accessible with accessible bathrooms.

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From This Author Larry O'Brien

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