Dominon Stage Love! Valour! Compassion!By Jose Pineda • May 31st, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Gunston Arts Center, Arlington, VA
Through June 6
Reviewed May 28, 2010
Dominon Stage brings Terrence McNally’s 1994 play Love! Valour! Compassion! to the Gunston Arts Center in Arlington, VA. Their interpretation of the Tony winning play, turned featured film, was compelling and quite enjoyable.
Love! Valour! Compassion! is intriguing to say the least. It tells the story of eight gay friends spending three major holiday weekends throughout the summer together. Each character is completely different from each other, yet they all mesh so well. From joyous moments, to infidelities, to sufferings, and much, much more, the men discover within themselves the true friendship they have and how it helps them to survive their hectic lives.
Reprising his WATCH Outstanding Actor nominated (ESP, 2003) roles as twin brothers John and James Jeckyll, Matthew Randall was superb. For a lot of actors, playing two roles simultaneously is a feat to accomplish, but for Randall, it was very natural. As John, he was bitter and rough; always getting into arguments for just about anything, but as James, he was tender and lighthearted; very easily likable. Randall played both characters one right after the other with great success.
As choreographer Gregory Mitchell, Patrick M. Doneghy was fantastic, and Luke Morris, playing Bobby Brahms, was very believable as a blind man. Doneghy and Morris were great as the couple, even through an infidelity crisis, their love seemed pure and authentic. All seven men playing the eight friends were phenomenal. Each of them brought a new take to each of the characters, that were comparable and still quite different from the film adaptation of the play.
Also worth mentioning were the technical aspects of the show. The set designed by David M. Moretti, was very versatile and worked very well with Jeffery Scott Auerbach’s light design. This play had a plethora of adult themes including sexuality, infidelity, AIDS, vulgar language, and nudity, and director Rick Hayes took many liberties with the script. The nudity was one of the major factors that I questioned. At times, I felt like there was too much nudity, and at other times not enough. Still, Hayes did fantastic work putting together this production.
This production of Love! Valour! Compassion! is a must see! It satisfies all of the cravings a theater fanatic might have, and leaves you wanting more. Luckily for those that have yet to catch the performance, one more set of performances will run from Wednesday, June 2 to Saturday, June 5 at 8 PM and Sunday, June 6, at 2 PM. Don’t miss out!
From The Director
What defines “family?” Some people define it as being blood related. I think a “family” is those people who are in your heart. They do things without expecting anything in return. They are there when others abandon you. You can count on them. This show is dedicated to all my friends who are my family and are so deep in my heart. Love to you all. -Rick Hayes
- Gregory Mitchell: Patrick M. Doneghy
- Arthur Pape: Jeffery Stevenson
- Perry Sellars: Richard Isaacs
- John Jeckyll/James Jeckyll: Matthew Randall
- Buzz Hauser: Mario Font
- Bobby Brahms: Luke Morris
- Ramon Fornos: Shawn G. Byers
The Production Team
- Producer: Michele Bell
- Director: Rick Hayes
- Stage Manager: Christine Farrell
- Choreographer: Rikki Howie
- Scenic and Painting Design: David M. Moretti
- Master Carpenter: Hector Lorenzini
- Costume Design: Ceci Albert
- Lighting Design: Jeffery Scott Auerbach
- Sound Design: Kevine DelMine
- Properties Design: Helen Bard-Sobola
- Makeup and Hair Design: Rick Hayes
- Assistant Stage Manager: Jim Callery
- Sound Board Operator: Robert King
- Stage/Tech Crew: Julie Cameron, David Gonzalez
- Load In/Tech Crews: Bob Bell, Jim Callery, Kevin DeMine, David Gonzalez, Andrew Haddock, Brian Kane, Robert King, Angelo Mike, Phil Natalini, Jim Vincent, Reggie Waters
- Auditions: Bill Parker
- Logo Design/Graphic Artist: Jen Koscielniak
- Marketing/Social Media Team: Spencer Lepler, Angelo Mike, Larissa Norris
- Press/Archival Photography: Reggie Waters
- Program: Dave Moretti
- Lobby Display: Larissa Norris
Disclaimer: Dominon Stage provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. Also, Dominion Stage purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio.net web site, which did not affect this review.
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