Theatre Review by Harrison Held
Jim Beaver (l.), Sheila Shaw, Adam Conger. Photo: Charlie Mount
Lots of interesting and colorful characters in the play Verdigris which takes place in small town Oklahoma. Theatre West premiered Jim Beaver's terrific play
Verdigris Friday nite thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign with donations from over 900 well wishers many of them fans of Mr. Beaver from his successful run on the long running TV series
Supernatural. The funny & poignant play well directed by Mark W. Travis takes place in small town Edgar, Oklahoma, in 1972 and was first mounted over 30 years ago to great reviews. I think this rebooted version is destined to great acclaim also.
David Goldstein (l.), Chloe Rosenthal, Sheila Shaw, Jim Beaver. Photo: Charlie Mount
In Spanish verde means green and gris means grey and the combination 'verdigris' means a green or greenish-blue coating that forms like rust on brass, bronze or copper especially with age or neglect. This is a metaphor for the colorful characters in the play. The story revolves around a blind wheelchair bound senior citizen named Margaret Fielding played with excellence by actress Sheila Shaw who also appeared in the original production. Eccentric Margaret Fielding has seen better days and is fighting for her survival and independence from the nursing home her son Carl (David Goldstein) and his wife are determined to place her in. Margaret has several employees and assistants that she treats with varying degrees of abuse and manipulation from the confines of her dilapidated home yet beneath the gristle and the antics from the frail old antique she has become she is very human and a good soul. I think the expression "She doesn't suffer fools gladly" must have been coined for her.
Jim Beaver (l.), Adam Conger. Photo: Charlie Mount
Richard Muldoon, the new hire is her latest 'victim' played by a terrific actor named Adam Conger who also serves as the play's narrator. Richard's dream is to be performing on the Broadway but he is light years away living in this small town. His beautiful girlfriend is played with panache by redhead Katie Adler. Margaret's other employees/victims include a brother and sister - the good natured Ben Bo Burley (Dylan Vigus) and plain Jane kind hearted May Bee Burley (Corinne Shor) plus Carl Bartlett and Ian Lerch. Rounding out the cast are David Mingrino who is very funny as a self serving politician and Chloe Rosenthal as Bonnie Fern Carl's vivacious well meaning wife. Sadly Margaret's brother the very likable Jockey Fielding (Jim Beaver) has turned into an alcoholic over the years. The new kinship between alcoholic Jockey and young eager Richard is very touching. The story is dramatic but there are also lots of laughs as Margaret wheels and deals to sustain herself against many obstacles.
Fine work from an excellent cast. Visit
www.theatrewest.org for more information.
Verdigris plays Friday, Saturday and Sundays, extended thru April 26, 2015.
Adam Conger (l.), Jim Beaver, Cal Bartlett, David Goldstein, Chloe Rosenthal, Photo: Charlie Mount