May-June Show 2019
Conceived, Created, and Directed by
Marc Christian Berg
The Matchbox Puppet Theater Company
May 10- June 1, 2019
“…Oleanna has been given a galvanizing mounting by The Matchbox Theater..."
“…Both actors give riveting performances in which the characters circle one another in orbits ordained by their gender, their positions, and the tools at their disposal. They make certain neither character is likable, yet they keep us enthralled…Lucchino evolves from fawning to ferocious, portraying Carol's growing strength and convictions through bolstered posture and articulation…Somers keenly depicts the growing alarm and panic, descending into dark waters in which all he can do is flail against the downward pull…”
Listen to a discussion about THE WEIR between WCCO's CenterStage 830AM
Radio Host Jearlyn Steele,
(FINBAR in The Weir), and Douglas Stewart
(Director of The Weir)
about ghosts, ancient faeries, and apparitions appearing on stage at
The Matchbox Theater!
Click on Arrow to Hear Interview
(Click on Talkin' Broadway Logo to read full review by Arthur Dorman)
"...Stewart assembled a terrific cast for this ensemble piece. Thom Pinault held center court as Jack, the first and last to speak, who represents the frittering away of hope and opportunity, couched in a patina of wit and charm, always a twinkle in his eye—and voluminous drink. Pinault portrayed the slow but steady progression from sober to sloppy drunk as well as I have ever seen on stage... Paul Somers was Finbar...depicted Finbar's confidence and refined manners, though he still enjoys having laughs with the old boys...Philip C. Matthews bestowed on Brendan the solid footing of the man who must still be standing at night's end, who shoulders responsibility to keep the place from sliding into bedlam...David Schlosser played Jim as good hearted and a bit simple...Jamie White Jachimiec was perfectly cast as Valerie, quiet and agreeable in the company of this rowdy quartet, almost like an anthropologist enjoying a good look at the natives, then suddenly revealing a depth of pain and sorrow, becoming vulnerable in ways that were completely unexpected...Aside from solid performances all around, all five actors delivered their lines with excellent accents...The physical production was modest but served its purpose completely. Stewart and Meg Smith designed a totally serviceable setting, a pub that looked as comfortable to its habitués as their own parlors, and costumes that reflected that state of mind of each of the five characters. Jacob Gold modulated the lighting to raise the intensity of the ghost story sequences and provided a soundscape of ceaseless wind, as if this pub were a bastion guarding those inside from the capricious forces of nature...here are two recommendation for you moving forward. First, The Weir is a good, albeit slight, play. It is well worth seeing when it surfaces again...especially in the hands of a top notch cast under the grip of a strong director. And for my second recommendation: Matchbox Theater is new player on the Twin Cities theater scene. Last month they presented a well-mounted production of the one-man play Einstein: A Stage Portrait, but for all intents and purposes that was a touring show. The Weir is wholly produced by Matchbox, and if this is a sampling of the caliber of their work, it's a company well worth watching..."
- Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway -
"It was, in fact, a dark and stormy night when I saw The Weir. Perfect! I stepped out of the pelting rain and into the world of a rural Irish bar on a blustery night. As the wind howls, 3 blokes break the loneliness of their lives in a nightly ritual of banter, unfolding their stories, bit by bit, replete with supernatural visitations. But the play is not just a charming depiction of classic Irish storytelling, with ghosts and faeries, though it is that. It drives us deeper in a surprise twist--a young woman from Dublin is ushered in by a local fellow, and the dynamics change, along with the storytelling. It turns out she has a story to tell, a poignant, riveting one. You may find The Weir touches the heart, even as it entertains. And it invites questions, "What is real, after all? What is true?" The Weir, produced by The Matchbox Theater, is a fine and engaging play, exquisitely-executed. Go see it!"
- Jean Greenwood, Freelance Theater Critic -