Saturday, November 20, 2010

Turn of the Screw : Dragon Theatre Palo Alto : Magnificent!

The success of Jeffrey Hatcher’s riveting adaptation of the classic Henry James novella is wholly dependent upon the unity of purpose of its acting twosome. Both must be utterly committed to revealing the emotional reality of their characters without sacrificing the ambiguous supernatural elements suggested by the narrative.

I am happy to report that Katie Anderson and George Psarras are equally up to the task. Aided by minimal yet smartly designed production values, together they deliver an acting performance tantamount to a harmonious duet that’s operatic in scope. Bravo!


Mr. Psarras’ psychological intensity is apparent from the first line. His preternaturally seamless character transitions, accomplished by subtle physical manipulations and nimble vocal transformations, is most impressive!


And Ms. Anderson’s courageous willingness to completely inhabit the governess’ frightening emotional complexity is truly inspirational. She masterfully embraces her torment without making the mistake of lapsing into a caricature of total madness. Well done!


The debate about whether James’ ghosts are a product of tragic mental delusion or actual apparitions may never be satisfactorily resolved. But one thing is certain: the bravura acting talent currently on display at Dragon Productions is a perfect match for the compelling and beautifully written material. A genuinely gripping and memorable experience!

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