|Joanna Liao &|
The Lantern Theater Company, located in St. Stephen’s Church Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, will be presenting the Philadelphia premiere of 36 Views through June 26, 2016. The title of Naomi Iizuka’s work was inspired by the “36 views of Mt. Fuji”, a set of colored block prints. The views in question are actually the views that one sees of various pieces of Asian art, the points of views of the various characters, and the views of the audience as the true nature of the characters are revealed, in much the same manner that an onion’s inner core is seen after many layers are peeled away. Jorge Cousineau is the scenic, sound and projection designer. He is beyond a doubt the best that Philadelphia has to offer. The images that are displayed on sliding screens are not only magnificent, but technically brilliant, as they sometimes morph into one another. The sound effects, too are dazzling, as chocks of wood bang together not only to signal a new scene, but also to signal a new idea. Joanna Liao portrays an Asian art specialist, Setsuko Hearn, while Joe Guzmán portrays an ambitious art dealer, Darius Wheeler. He is deliriously happy to have come into contact with a priceless “Japanese pillow book”, which will need authentication. Bi Jean Ngo is excellent as art restorer Clare Tsong. Her back story comes to light in the second act. David Price as John Bell and Angela Smith as Elizabeth Newman Orr round out the cast. The story line is a bit confusing at the end of the first act but by the second act, as the audience is allowed to see other views, the realization comes that this is just what the playwright intends. 36 Views is a visually exquisite masterpiece that will have you thinking twice about first impressions. For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0395, visit online at www.lanterntheater.org or visit the Lantern Box Office at 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia. Pa. 19107.