Monday, June 10, 2013

The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn: Chapter One

Leah Roberts, Scott Anthony & Douglas Scott Sorenson,
outside The Baron's Theatre. Photo – Theatre [502].

By Diane Grisanti & Steve Moulds
Directed by Amy Attaway
Reviewed by Keith Waits

Entire contents are copyright © 2013, Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

This newly commissioned work introduces to Louisville audiences the growing trend of a play presented in serial segments over time. Chapter One, a brief but satisfying 15 minutes, will be followed by monthly installments of similar length through April, 2014, at which time the entire saga will be produced as one complete play.
Whether the final result will be worth the wait only time will tell. But the introductory presentation manages to tease effectively without leaving us feeling undernourished by the brief running time, feeding enough intrique, mystery and humor to whet the appetite for more.
A narrator (Douglas Scott Sorenson) sets the stage for the tale, as an eager-to-please yet wholly inept magician named Ludlow Quinn (Eli Keel) stumbles through his disaster of a magic act before meeting an enigmatic, trench-coated woman (Leah Roberts) who has an uncanny ability to penetrate his bluster and get to the truth of the matter. The plot takes place in 1913 Louisville, with a jump into the modern day that promises an entirely new plot development with the introduction of a young girl (Becca Willenbrink). A suave, pencil-thin mustachioed piano player (Scott Anthony) oversees the proceedings.
The production is custom-tailored for the unique and cozy environment of The Baron’s Theatre, with its narrow, shotgun configuration and walls covered with vintage early 20th century magic posters, and there is not a bad seat to be had. Each performance comes equipped with just the right degree of sly self-awareness, and the whole piece triumphs on charm and style; and perhaps more substance will follow. Yet for now, the charm may be enough.
New chapters are due to arrive on First Fridays each month, performed four times on the hour, from 7 p.m. through 10 p.m., and admission is free.
The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn: Chapter One
June 7, 2013
Theatre [502] at The Baron’s Theatre
131 West Main Street
Louisville, Ky 40202

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