Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review of the Botticelli Cruise

Outstanding review of the Botticelli Cruise

Review    Greenbelt News Review   July 4, 2013

Botticelli Cruise at Greenbelt Arts Center

by Carol Griffith

Two attractive people meet on  a cruise and fall in love: Not a particularly exciting plot line. But in the hands of Anthony Gallo and the Seventh Street Playhouse, in their latest play now showing at the Greenbelt Arts Center, that seemingly innocent premise is just the beginning of a twisting, turning, roller coaster of a play.


“The Botticelli Cruise” is the fourth of Gallo’s intelligent and entertaining, dramatic and detailed plays to be performed at GAC. The talented screenwriter and librettist has written 14 dramatic plays, some of which have been performed in New York as well as widely throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Tarpley Long is excellent as the flighty and free-spirited Boo, a passenger on the cruise.


Concerned only with getting her next gin and tonic, Boo divulges almost nothing of her life story or, until the end of the play, her reason for being on the cruise. Bernard Phillips, the passenger who falls in love with Boo, is a complete enigma. Even his name is a puzzle – it’s a shortened version, he tells Boo, of his real name. In some of the funnier scenes, he claims to be the real author of the cheesy self-help books that Boo adores. Boo swoons as he quotes verbatim from the latest book. But did he really write the books?


PatMartin returns to the GAC stage and lends his immense talents to the role of Bernard. Adding to the mystery are the captain of the ship and the everpresent,  overly friendly waiter. Are they what they seem to be? David Weaver, also returning toGAC in this role with his usual outstanding talent, seems to be having a lot of fun as the captain. Jonathan Gadsden, newcomer to the Greenbelt stage, is perfect as the waiter with a secret.


 Rounding out the cast and providing some steadiness to counterbalance the other characters  are Annette Landers and Muriel McNair as fellow cruise passengers. Fresh from roles in the recent “Big River” production, the talents they showed there aren’t fully used in this play but they provide excellent support.


Is the play a study of how we all put on faces and tell stories to the world, hiding ourselves within? Is it a Christian allegory with a Christ-like tragic character? You be the judge.


“The Botticelli Cruise” will play on the Friday and Saturday evenings of July 5 and

6 at 8 p.m. There will be a Sunday matinee on July 7 at 2 p.m. Reservations may be made through the box office at 301- 441-8770 or at the Greenbelt Arts Center at 123 Centerway, located beneath the Co-op supermarket


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