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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Keegan Theatre Of Mice and Men

By • Nov 27th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
Of Mice and Men
Keegan Theatre
Church Street Theater, Washington, DC
Through November 29th
$30/$25 Seniors and Students
Reviewed November 19th, 2009

Keegan Theatre has brought their Ireland tour production to the Keegan home in Washington DC. The show, the John Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men.

Two drifters, George Milton, superbly underplayed by Mark Rhea is a shorter man than his companion, Lennie performed by Danny Gavigan who masterfully plays this Giant. The talented cast backing up these two at the Keegan Theatre’s home on Church Street tell the classic story. (It was standard reading in high school).

The minimalist set by Eric Lucas and Dan Martin‘s lighting create each mood as the two drifters arrive and work. The costumes were true to the period of the mid 1930’s, save for the seamless nylon stockings worn by the only female in the cast.

Directed by Kerry Waters Lucas, this production is all one could ask for. She has lead both Mark Rhea and Danny Gavigan through this show with a calm and easy approach to its tragic conclusion with a haunting sense of reality that’s all too close to our present times. I loved her and Dan Martin’s choices of lighting the backdrop.

It is important to note others in the cast which make this production one of the great ones. The attention given by each actor as they lived their characters lives. To note are Candy played wonderfully by Matt Boliek who gave his character more than just an amputee, but rather a frail man with hopes and dreams to match those of George and Lennie. Matt’s internal turmoil in allowing his dog to be euthanized as well as his grief after the loss of his only true friend was very well played and kept neatly within the confines of the story. Carlson, expertly and scarily played by Kevin Adams with his characters constant desires for the here and now. Curly’s Wife was neatly acted by Lee Matthews. There were times I could hear the nails on the chalkboard in her voice and at other moments she sounded gay and menacing. Lee did a wonderful job working with Danny in the death choreography. Slim, played by K.J. Thorarinsson had some nice touching moments in his portrayal. Curly, played by John Keena gave a performance he can be proud of. He made me want to hate and pity his character at the same moment. Crooks, played by Paul Andrew Morton, was simply masterful in his approach to the physicality of his character all the way down to his characters fears and dreams.

My only disappointment about this production is the fact that there’s only a short time left to go and see it. This production is truly a great show. Well done to all!

Photo Gallery

Danny Gavigan (Lennie) and Mark A. Rhea (George) John Robert Keena (Curly) and Drew Kopas (Whit)
Danny Gavigan (Lennie) and Mark A. Rhea (George)
John Robert Keena (Curly) and Drew Kopas (Whit)
Paul Morton (Crooks) Mark A. Rhea (George) and Drew Kopas (Whit)
Paul Morton (Crooks)
Mark A. Rhea (George) and Drew Kopas (Whit)
Lee Matthews (Curly's Wife) Danny Gavigan (Lennie) and Mark A. Rhea (George)
Lee Matthews (Curly’s Wife)
Danny Gavigan (Lennie) and Mark A. Rhea (George)

Photos by James Coates for the Keegan Theatre

Cast

  • George: Mark A. Rhea
  • Lennie: Danny Gavigan
  • The Boss: Colin Smith
  • Slim: K.J. Thorarinsson
  • Carlson: Kevin Adams
  • Curley: John Keena
  • Candy: Matt Boliek
  • Whit: Drew Kopas
  • Curley’s Wife: Lee Matthews
  • Crooks: Paul Andrew Morton

Crew

  • Ireland Tour Manager: Mark A. Rhea
  • Director: Kerry Waters Lucas
  • Assistant Director: Colin Smith
  • Stage Manager: Elliott Kashner
  • Set Designer: Eric Lucas
  • Light Designer/Technical Director: Dan Martin
  • Sound Designer: David Crandall
  • Costume Designer: Shadia Hafiz
  • Assistant Costume Designer: Hilary Rednor

Disclaimer: Keegan Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has been involved in theatre for over 40 years in the local Washington DC Metro area as well as NYC and London England. Mark has performed at the Dramatist Guild Theatre on Broadway, at The Dorothy Strelsin Theatre Off-Broadway. His credits include work in many local theatres as well: The Folger Theatre Group, Arena Stage, New Playwrights Theatre, 7th Street Players, The Keegan Theatre, The American Century Theatre, The Journeyman Theatre, ASTA Theatre, The Hayloft Dinner Theatre (Associate Producer), The Lazy Susan Theatre, Discovery Channels, “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (Frankenstein) with Donald Sutherland. London, England credits include work at: The Duke of York Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, The Questors Theatre, The British Embassy Players. Mark is a graduate of The Drama Studio, London, England. Mark is also a narrator of audio books for Gildan Audio: “True North”, by Bill George; “Never Give Up”, by Tedy Bruschi and “Five Minds for the Future”, by Howard Gardner among them. Mark currently teaches Advanced Acting at The Little Theatre of Alexandria and still performs locally in many theatres.

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