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BWW Review: IDEATION at Urbanite Theatre Sarasota

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To say this city has a passion for the Arts is an understatement. Just walk into the welcomingly intimate Urbanite Theatre. You may possibly be greeted with a complimentary glass of wine and a thank you for coming, delivered in the form of a warm hug by founder, Harry Lipstein.

Lipstein, a New York Equity actor himself, founded Urbanite as, "A commitment to fresh works, burgeoning playwrights, and actor-driven productions. We strive to bring undiscovered pieces by great writers to the stage and to work and collaborate with emerging talents in all fields". Worth mentioning is their passion to further enrich and engage the community through their youth and adult education programs.

Ideation is a conspiracy theorist's dream. Or worst nightmare. If you've heard anything about FEMA camps, global elite takeover or world depopulation, step in to this psychological thriller tainted with a delightfully dark comedic edge and ride the quick-paced, thought provoking wave of paranoia. Jim Sorenson's vibrant direction opens in the boardroom as we join a self-proclaimed successful group of top-notch consultants returning from a business trip to Greece. Egotistical Brock, (BrenDan Regan), confident Ted, (Tom Foley), and prudent Sandeep, (Gopal Divan) are met by their pleasantly stoic female project manager, Hannah, (Summer Dawn Wallace), who has a new assignment for them. DJ, the company's chief executive, (commendably voiced by Lawrence James), dials in via phone conference to task this group of high powered colleagues to devise a plan to isolate and extinguish a segment of society who are carriers of a deadly virus, in order to save the rest of the population. This is all hypothetical, of course. Or is it? To make matters worse, DJ has bequeathed upon the team, an obligatory arrogant junior employee, Scooter, (Anthony Gullikson), whose father resides on their board. The mayhem that ensues is gloriously fast-paced and well played out. As we watch the team white board hypothesis after hypothesis for termination of the sick, conspiracy theories escalate, an office affair is revealed, a matter of ethics surfaces, anxiety grows and trust dissolves. Collaborative efforts rise and fall as their focus shifts back and forth from their daunting task to the questionable role each of them play in this dubious assignment. The surprise ending left theatregoers debating their own hypotheses. Timing is everything in this production. The rapid delivery of lines, proficient acting skills and tight direction make this show a must see.


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