THE RAPE OF THE LOCK
nytheatre.com review by Alyssa Simon
The Rape of The Lock, A New
Play is an inventive twist on the play-within-a-play concept. In it,
a group of actors rehearsing The Rape Of The Lock written by
their tyrannical director Alexander Pope, set the plot in motion for
revenge in a fashion a la Pirandello Taking oft-used themes such as the
playwright’s frustrations with actors who refuse to be puppets and who
try to re-write the script, playwright Paul Hagen uses Alexander Pope’s
words as metaphors for stereotypes of theatre personalities.
August 15, 2002
Aiding Hagen beautifully in this task is costume designer, Everett DiNapoli. He has created hilarious costumes spanning theatrical styles from satyr plays, opera, melodrama and even a wink to Hamlet with the black-clad David Giambusso playing Sir Plume.
The cast is excellent and though I had trouble hearing a few of the actors, it was not because they don’t thoroughly understand their roles. It seems more of a timing issue in group scenes that will only get tighter as the show’s run progresses. Individually, the comic timing is spot on. Micah Bucey as Alexander Pope is the perfect embodiment of the director from hell. Mandy Olsen as Belinda, the berated leading lady, shows great range, from self-absorbed diva to real depth of anger and feeling when called "just another pretty face." Liz Miller, playing the part of Thalestis, has a strong presence on stage, and David Giambusso has a wonderful ability to convey humor in a natural and unforced way. Ann Courtney plays Belinda’s vengeful and jealous sister Clarissa and Christian Bester is the scheming and seductive Baron. They have a great scene together that is beautifully choreographed.
The director, Paul Mazza has a great eye for stage pictures. The actors portray archetypes from the Tarot, a ship at sea, and a dictator on his throne (with five cast members as the throne), using movement that also covers operatic gestures, a soft shoe vaudeville number and classical poses from the Restoration and Shakespeare. The set is designed by Joe Galen, who also plays the Narrator; Bill Bowen designed sound; and director Paul Mazza designed the lights; all contributing to a well-thought-out and unified artistic vision.