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Repertory Philippines’ Next Fall review January 16, 2012

Posted by leukemicnut in Uncategorized.
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For the play to work, though, what’s most important is that you believe that despite their essential dissimilarities, Luke and Adam were meant to be together. And you do, thanks in large part to the easygoing chemistry between Mr. Breen’s funny, uptight Adam and Mr. Heusinger’s puppyish Luke. – NYTimes circa 2009 on Next Fall.

Unfortunately, this chemistry was utterly lacking in the two actors who played Adam and Luke in Repertory Philippines’ Next Fall. True, they indeed kissed, tickled each other and hugged. But all these failed to convince me that they were indeed in love and that they had fundamental difference in their beliefs regarding the existence and value of God.

Given such a material, the weight of carrying the play fell on the ability of the actors to make us care, make us believe that their pain is real, and to make us see the emotions that they are experiencing. The actors utterly failed to do this. It was like watching someone read to me a script sans any effort to be in character. It was frustrating.

It was not only the two lead characters who failed in this department. Save for the actress who played Holly, everyone seemed to have been wonderful at memorizing their lines but have forgotten to, well, act.

The script has its flaws, indeed. But where a play revolves around the stories of people, with very little music to set the tone, the actors should be able to grab you by the collar and make you pay attention. It’s their job. When they fail to do so, they may as well not call themselves actors, at least for the time being.

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