Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Our Town Theatre Review

Holly Twyford (center) and the cast of Our Town (Teresa Castracane Photography

The Way We Were

Grovers Corners, New Hampshire, circa 1901 (and beyond.) A nice town, where folks "like to know the facts," and where the dishes are done by 2:00 in the afternoon. Not exactly present day DC, but in the capable hands of director Alan Paul, a wonderful place to visit. Thornton Wilder's Old Town is three acts of life in the slow lane, minus the mundane. The second-to-last production of STC's 2021-22 season manages to exceed expectations at almost every turn, including our press night preview, which featured six (yes, six) understudies without so much as a hiccup. If you're keeping score, that's STC 1 COVID 0.

202 Words or Less

Paul's version is theatre-in-the-round, which fits an often crowded stage perfectly. There are quite a few players to keep track of, with modern costumes and simple ideals. Tops amongst them, the play's "stage manager" expertly played by Helen Hayes award-winner Holly Twyford, Chinna Palmer as Emily Webb, and Lawrence Redmond as the troubled choir leader/taskmaster Simon Stimson. Wilson Chin's set is light on props but full of intimacy and warmth, and the pace is quicker than you'd expect. The final act weighed heavy for my taste, but overall, Our Town is honest and ultimately uplifting.


Our Town runs two hours, 30-minutes with two intermissions, now through Saturday, June 11th at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street, NW.) Tickets cost $35-$112, and are available for purchase online or by calling (202) 547-1122.