1st Stage MauritiusBy Michael Clark • Oct 2nd, 2010 • Category: Reviews
1st Stage Theater, McLean, VA
Through October 3rd
2:00 with one intermission
Reviewed September 25th, 2010
What do you get when you combine thieves, family problems, shady characters, and stamp collecting? Jeopardy categories? No, Theresa Rebeck’s play Mauritius. Two sisters have inherited a stamp collection. One wants to keep the stamps as a memory of her grandfather, the other wants to sell the stamps for a fortune. Unfortunately, the dealer she takes the collection to refuses to give an appraisal, so she turns to an innocent bystander at the shop for help. The bystander realizes there are two extremely rare stamps in the collection, and tries to get the stamps for one of his clients. The stamp collection passes from person to person in this absorbing drama.
This drama had plenty of twists and turns, and we were never really sure what the motives of each person was. Leigh Taylor Patton as Jackie was able to be alternately innocent and powerful. Her scenes with her sister Mary (Amy Waldman) racketed up the tension as they continually introduced bits of their backstory. Waldman expressed the correct amount of frustration and fear, while still being worried about her little sister. Roger Payano as Philip, the philately expert, was potent as the owner of the stamp shop. His vexation at yet another “stamp collector” thinking they had a fortune in their hands was obvious, although later in the play his motives for helping Mary weren’t as clear. Dennis, the “innocent bystander” was played by Edward Daniels, and his friend Sterling was played by Bruce Alan Rauscher. Were the two of them running a scam? Or was Dennis running a scam with Jackie? The second act was a little muddled as the stamp collection changed hands again and again. Daniels and Rauscher worked well together. Their fight sequences were always a surprise, as the anger in the scene slowly increased.
Mark Krikstan’s set was splendid, made up of a few tables and chairs that were moved for each sene, and many different oversized stamps serving as wall hangings. C. Ian Campbell’s lights would illuminate certain stamps in each scene, including the two stamps from Mauritius, and an inverted Jenny.
Overall, I enjoyed this production, and you do not need to be a stamp collector to understand what is occurring. Greed and selfishness are universal.
Photos provided by 1st Stage.
- Dennis: Edward Daniels
- Jackie: Leigh Taylor Patton
- Philip : Roger Payano
- Sterling: Bruce Alan Rauscher
- Mary: Amy Waldman
- Director, Set Design, Artistic Director of 1st Stage: Mark Krikstan
- Lighting Design: C. Ian Campbell
- Props: Deb Crerie
- Fight Choreographer: Paul Gallagher
- Vocal Coaching: Jane Margulies Kalbfeld
- Stage Manager: Rachel M. Loose
- Dramaturg: Kayla Prestel
- Props: Kay Rzasa
- Costume Design: Cheryl Patton Wu
- Sound Design, Composer: John Yu
Disclaimer: 1st Stage provided 1 complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/5643.