Off Broadway (and sometimes Broadway) Reviews and Information.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

According to Goldman - Don’t Trust Movie People

Theater Breaking Through Barrier’s According to Goldman at the Clurman Theatre is a a new take on the old story of the Hollywood writer shuttle.  It covers a lot of the same territory we’ve seen before, but brings some honest emotion that makes this trip worthwhile.
Pamela Sabaugh, Stephen Drabicki, Nicholas Viselli in According to Goldman
Gavin Miller, well played by Nicholas Viselli, teaches screenwriting at an Eastern college.  He has had success in Hollywood, with family films he isn’t particularly proud of, and has turned this success into a teaching gig.  Into his class walks Jeremiah Collins, touchingly played by Stephen Drabicki.  Jeremiah is a Missionary’s son with an interesting back-story that he turns into a screenplay.
Gavin takes an interest in Jeremiah and his story.  An interest that turns into a collaboration, one
Nicholas Viselli and Pamela Sabaugh
that Gavin thinks might be his ticket back to Hollywood.  What makes this story feel fresh and genuine is Pamela Sabaugh’s performance as Gavin’s wife.  It is a painfully honest portrayal of a wife trying to stand by her husband, even when she questions his judgment.
Mr. Drabicki’s young Jeremiah is an earnest young man, who tries to act honorably in all things.  He’s moral compass makes a second act twist feel a little artificial, even though Mr. Draicki pulls it back to reality quickly.  Mr. Viselli’s Gavin is perfectly believable as the insecure and slightly desperate screenwriter.  It loses a little sympathy only by being a character we’ve seen often before.
But Ms. Sabaugh grounds her performance so much, that both men become more believable.  She wants, so much, to think the best of these men that she drags us alone with her.  Her reaction to their scheming is laced with disappointment, but not surprise.
Director Ike Schambelan does a good job with According to Goldman, helped by great sets from Bert Scott.  The Viselli house is a shrine to movies and the people that make them.  The set reminds the professor constantly that he isn’t where he thinks he should be.  PS – love the idea about Ann Frank’s cat – gold!

According to Goldman
Playwright: Bruce Graham
Director: Ike Schambelan
Cast: Stephen Drabicki, Pamela Sabaugh, Nicholas Viselli

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