★★★★☆ - Delicious
NCT’s current production, “Take Me Out,” is a touching, strong ensemble piece that opened last weekend, and runs until October 8th, in which everyone in the cast revealed their uniqueness, while melting imperceptibly with a communal purpose.
At rise, the clothes are hanged, the room is empty, and the boys have probably just left. The shower faucets reflect the light with metal stillness, waiting for a naked body to be washed. Is that how life is – like a shower, ready to wash away our vulnerabilities? If only that could be a little true!
Two by two and one by one, the boys show up. Kippy Sunderstrom (Brandon Dawson) draws focus as a naturally warm, sweet narrator, giving us the who and what of the story,
Kippy opens up the story with a character of hearty, unconstrained, and joyful personality. In his role, from beginning to end, Dawson successfully juggles all the tasks required. He fights and wonders with sensitivity, supportiveness, disappointment, and encouragement— torn with doubt, while still believing in the good.
The story follows the internal conflicts and emotions of a major league baseball team, when the star player, Darren Lemming (Mario Peoples), decides to uncover his difference. As result, heterogeneous attitudes start to develop toward him from the other players. Toddy Koovitz (Shane Cullum), Jason Chenier (Alexander Medlicott), Lefty Wright (Johann Heske), Davey Battle (Joshua Horton), Martinez (Marcus Martinez), Rodrigez (Cameron Bass), Takeshi Kawabata (Garrison Quizon) and The Skipper (Jacob Moore), take time to grow and process their own personal reasons against their colleague’s homosexuality. As the story unfolds, it feels as if Darren steps onto soft ground which slowly begins to swallow him, and drag his friends and players down. One of the outstanding moments in this process is the dialogue between Kippy and Takeshi that you won’t want to miss.
There is one more dark, mysterious player I didn`t mention above, who is somehow cold but lovable, hurt but strong, honest but a liar, playing his game charmingly, but not like any others. Yes, Shane Mungitt’s (Darek Riley) charm is different. Riley`s work stood out as emotionally rich, precise and thoughtful, wearing its own signature.
And, of course, local favorite Marcus Weiss, in the role of Mason Marzac, takes all the opportunities he has to break out the overwhelming bad mood that cripples the players. Weiss is a complete joy to watch. It’s as if he had a pocket full of magic mixed with custom herbs and spices, which he gladly sprinkled all into the pot. He expands the story to wide angles, helps the action to move freshly with humor, and fills the production with art and originality.
Overall the action was entertaining, even with some moments of dialogue that seemed a bit dry and flat, which occasionally felt a tad under-developed and one dimensional.
All of the technical aspects of this production translated well with the audience. The team of designers achieved visual harmony presenting an elegantly neat and prompt set, synchronized with the necessary costumes, lights and sound effects, successfully telling the story without interrupt.
Congratulations to director Andrew Paul and company for their strong commitment, and to all involved in this production.