Arts Runoff: AFTER MISS JULIE

Summary: Britain, 1945.  John (Mat Nakitare), a driver for a wealthy estate, and Christine (Molly O’Keefe), his wife-to-be, talk about the aristocratic guests at a party.  One of them, the unstable Miss Julie (Martha Newman) comes in, and — I don’t want to give much away — the result is a subtle, entertaining tragicomedy (comic tradgedy?).

Good: Simple yet effective set. // Stellar acting, huge energy. // Willy McKay’s directorial debut: excellent balance between subtlety and intensity.

Bad: Basically nothing.  There was one technical slip-up, but it was covered so well that it actually earns praise.

Broad: Rumor has it that the Theater Dept., on a tight budget, is encouraging seniors to do combined theses and keep their projects small in terms of cast and production value.  If that is true, After Miss Julie is a sublime example of why restrictions like that don’t matter.  Also, 70-minute intermissionless plays work really well in the Zoo.

Conclusion: If you have something important to do this weekend, skip it. SEE THIS SHOW. (And, FYI, Miss Julie is the first show this season that I’ve ranked that highly.) It’s “sold out,” but I still got in easily off of the wait list.  Hepburn Zoo, Friday at 8:00 and 11:00, and Saturday at 8:00.

This rapid-fire review is part of MiddBlog’s ongoing effort to cover every performance in Middlebury’s spring season.

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