Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Skin of Our Teeth Theatre Review

Tonya Beckman & Lilian Oben (r) star in The Skin of Our Teeth (Photo: Daniel Schwartz)

Enjoy Yourselves

I was curious to see how the normally (and thankfully) playful Constellation Theatre Company would tackle Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. The play's third act alone, can test the patience of any sane theatergoer, especially one who prefers humor over drama. Lucky for us, director Mary Hall Surface brings the funny... two superb acts of smart comedy that allow its stars to shine brightly, even in the face of oncoming catastrophes (ice age, flood, war.) Fear not tragedy lovers, there's still numerous veiled (and not-so-veiled) Biblical references to question the fate of mankind; but for those of us who like to sit back and be entertained, there's plenty to admire.

202 Words or Less

Tonya Beckman is superb as the sometimes sinful (but always entertaining) Sabina, who pulls double duty as interpreter to the audience, and catalyst to Mr. and Mrs. Antrobus' oft-complicated 5,000 year-old marriage. The "happy couple" is played brilliantly by Steven Carpenter & Lolita Marie, especially Marie, who oozes calm and class throughout the play's many pitfalls. Unfortunately, they're powerless to overcome the comparatively dull third act. If only intermission preceded this act, The Skin of Our Teeth would be near-perfect. As is, enlightening, sassy and timely enough to highly recommend.


The Skin of Our Teeth runs 2½ hours with one intermission (after the first act) now through February 11 at the Source Theatre (1835 14th Street, NW.) Tickets cost $25-$55, and are available for purchase online or by calling (202) 204-7741.