Monday, February 17, 2014

The Correspondent

Ken Urban's new play, The Correspondent, now open at Rattlestick, is one of those plays that you'll probably feel the need to talk about after, trying to unravel what you saw. You will also have to suspend your disbelief quite a bit, but at least you won't be bored.
Photo credit: Joan Marcus
The play starts with a meeting between Philip Graves (Thomas Jay Ryan) and Mirabel (Heather Alicia Simms). We quickly learn that Philip's wife just died and he hired Mirabel from a service that promises to get a message to the dead through people who are dying. If you couldn't guess already, it's a scam, but things take some weird turns when Philip starts receiving letters from his dead wife. He also starts a relationship with Mirabel. And then she catches a mysterious young man (Jordan Geiger) leaving the letters. To say anything more would be revealing too much. It's impossible to care about any of the characters as they are all pretty unlikeable and creepy, though I guess you don't really need to in this type of play. It's more about keeping you guessing, and it does that well. There is some gratuitous male nudity, which I normally wouldn't complain about it, but I think nudity, like anything else, should feel warranted by the story. But no complaints from me about the excellent design work. Eric Southern's lighting and Daniel Kluger's sound take Andrew Boyce's realistic Boston apartment set and turn it from a place you'd want to live to a place of suspense and dread.

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