Posted by Bruce Miller
I was happy to see Boys’ Life at the Firehouse tonight. Here’s what I liked a lot:
The young and very talented cast has to top everyone's list of prime assets. Joe Carlson is one of the most talented actors in town. I hope to have the privilege of working with him one day. My buddies Landon Nagel and Maggie Marlin were both terrific, particularly in their scenes with each other. Andrew Donnelly was somewhat new to me—I’d seen him in Dracula and Shadow Play at VCU—and I thought he certainly held his own tonight with the Carlson/Nagel power team. Amy Sproul, daughter of a good friend, once again impressed me no end. I raved about Amy and Joe when they first appeared together in This Is Our Youth at Firehouse a couple years back.
Lauren English, Alison Haracznak, Carter Lowery, and London Ray were all terrific. I was particularly enamoured of the natural charms of whichever actress it was who played the character who jogs. The characters aren’t listed in order of appearance in the playbill, and I can’t remember which female character had which name.
Director Morrie Piersol is a master at getting believable, edgy performances from his impressive cast.
Eddie Slipek once again shows his great eye as a scenic designer. Bryan Harris’s sound design, Nikki Osborne’s costumes, and Geno Brantley’s Lighting Design all serve the play well.
And how about those new seats. I’m so jealous. The new seats are comfortable and attractive. I want some for Barksdale Willow Lawn. Ah well. Someday.
Once again I was struck by how complimentary Firehouse and Barksdale are. Truth be told, I would probably never pick a play like Boys’ Life for Barksdale, and Carol perhaps would never pick a play like Boleros for the Disenchanted for the Firehouse. In like manner, some audiences will prefer one of these titles over the other. With Barksdale and Firehouse offering different types of plays, Richmond audiences have the chance to see both types of theatre.
Tomorrow I’m going to see The Ugly Duckling at Theatre IV, and Saturday it’s off to TheatreVCU and Psycho Beach Party. Next week, I’ll try my hardest to catch Shining City, The New Century, and Much Ado. Later in the Fall … Irma Vep and Mahalia,
See you at the theatres!