|Baker struggling with Barlow|
Bristol Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol Pa. is beginning its 2012-13 season with a production of Oleanna by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet. This spellbinding drama is scheduled to run through October 14. Blair Baker reprises the role that she performed on Broadway, that of Carol, a struggling college student who meets with her professor to seek his help. David Barlow presents us with John, a professor who professes to love teaching and is willing to forestall urgent personal matters to aide a student in distress. This piece is fraught with “what if “ and “ if only”. What if the professor hadn’t tried to console Carol when she thought she was a dismal failure? What if he hadn’t tried to stop her from leaving his office so that he could speak to her reasonably? And the phone….. If only the phone didn’t ring at every crucial moment in the dialogue between the professor and his student…. If only John didn’t answer the phone….There are countless instances of expertise in this production. Barlow’s one way phone conversations, displaying constantly interrupted speech patterns, are nothing short of brilliant. Baker’s transformation from a meek, helpless, college student to a shrew representing “her group” is a revolutionary shift of power. The combined efforts of Set Designer Julia C Lee and Lighting Designer Charles S. Reece perfectly set the stage for this powerful work. If you are familiar with David Mamet’s work, you will need no convincing to come and see this production. If you are not, then make sure you see Oleanna and find out for yourself why Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright. For more information or tickets, call 215-785-0100 or visit online at brtstage.org.