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The Tally Ho

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Review: "Echoes of the War"

As I posted below, I saw two plays by J.M. Barrie at the Mint Theater. This is the NY Times review that appeared Tuesday, J.M. Barrie Fairy Tales for Adults in a Time of War.
It's easy to put on a decent production when you have seasoned actors like Frances Sternhagen and Richard Easton working for you. But to show them at their best, as the director Eleanor Reissa does in two one-acts under the title "Echoes of the War" at the Mint Theater, requires a certain touch with the accouterments of theater. A scrim, for instance...

Today the two plays, running through Aug. 29 at 311 West 43rd Street, seem like lovely but slight character studies. In their time, though, they had much more resonance, and Ms. Reissa and her set designer, Vicki R. Davis, put the tiny dimensions of the Mint to good use in helping you feel it. Each play begins behind a scrim, the characters looking hazy as a turn-of-the century photograph; it's as if you're looking into the past, into a diorama of that bittersweet moment when war still seemed glorious even though the death toll was staggering. By the time the scrim comes up a few seconds later, you can feel the desperate jingoism bubbling beneath Barrie's pleasant stories.

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