Venus in Fur: confounding and extraordinary

748
Toronto Dyke March

theater review:

Even though there are no murders in Venus in Fur at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, it feels like one ever-so-subtly. As the characters and story unwind I was thrown for a complete loop–over and over again. Every time I thought I had something figured out I was wrong again. More about that later… maybe! 

Jenni Putney and Mark Alhadeff in Venus In Fur at George Street Playhouse. All Photos by T. Charles Erickson.

Jenni Putney and Mark Alhadeff in Venus In Fur at George Street Playhouse. All Photos by T. Charles Erickson.

What an incredible play with comedic twists, an excellent vehicle for two talented actors who can confound the audience at will. The blur between what is acting, what is acting on stage, and what is real – and why – is so utterly well done that you will love, love, love this play.

Director Kip Fagan has taken this seductive play by David Ives to an incredible level of outright craziness with authenticity and plot twists to match almost any very well-written mystery. It was mesmerizing to watch as the story moves along without an intermission. There are only two characters and a well-thought-out but mostly bare stage. Yet it all works just perfectly with what is just a few subtle, and not-so-subtle, lighting changes and an incredible amount of talent and energy from the cast. Bravo for the actors. They are the entire show and they are all that, and more!

Scene from Venus In Fur at George Street Playhouse. All Photos by T. Charles Erickson.Playing the character of Thomas was Mark Alhadeff. He is perfectly cast as an honest and befuddled up-and-coming theatre director seeking a leading lady for his new play. He is all set to head home to his fiancé, though unfulfilled in his mission of finding the right actress. He says to his fiancé that the afternoon was a complete waste of his time. Then in walks Vanda, played with  perfection by Jenni Putney. She comes in for an audition many hours late…or so it seems. At best, she might be a distraction at this late hour. But oh my, what a distraction she is. Without giving any of the story away I will say this, you will be distracted plenty!

I always enjoy GSP productions, but this one is extraordinary. Don’t miss it. Note that although there is no nudity , the subject matter is a bit racy and not really suitable for children. It is the end of the regular season at GSP, and this is a great closing production. Get your tickets now by calling (732) 246-7717 or go online at www.GSPonline.org . The show s through May 18.

On May 20 at 7:30 p.m., there will be a special night of playwright/comedian Lewis Black live on stage with GSP Artistic Director David Saint. In the fall, they will open the season in September with a world premiere of the new musical Garage Band.

 

theater review:

Even though there are no murders in Venus in Fur at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, it feels like one ever-so-subtly. As the characters and story unwind I was thrown for a complete loop–over and over again. Every time I thought I had something figured out I was wrong again. More about that later… maybe!