Saturday, June 6, 2015

Traveling Papers at The Lion Theatre on Theatre Row

The cast of TRAVELING PAPERS.  Photo by Hunter Canning.
For the first 30 minutes or so of this 90 minute production, Traveling Papers (currently premiering at The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row in midtown Manhattan), comes across as a theatrical classroom exercise – albeit one executed by seven very talented students.  In a scattershot assortment of soliloquies, excerpted from the works of authors ranging from Robert Louis Stevenson to Paul Theroux and from Edith Wharton to Joseph Conrad, the seven actors express their understanding and appreciation of the joy of travel.  Unfortunately, contrary to the sentiment expressed by Robert Frost in his memorable The Road Not Taken, the road these actors are traveling is a road that already has been traveled all too often, and their combined paean to the pleasures of travel appears to be little more than a theatrical conceit.

In the final two thirds of the production, however, matters improve considerably, as the play belatedly focuses increasingly on a single story line.  Miss Reid (Gwen Arment ), a well-meaning but loquaciously boring spinster and the sole passenger on a a German steamer, is driving the ship’s crew to distraction.  In typical male fashion, the ship’s Captain (John Camera ), the ship’s Doctor (Peter Husovsky), and the ship’s First Mate (Macy Idzakovich) determine that what Miss Reid really needs is to take a lover.  To that end they enlist the aid of the ship’s Radio Operator (Kyle Doherty), a handsome but callow youth half her age, with amusing and ultimately very satisfactory consequences.

1 comment:

  1. Loved you website! I am reaching out to you as a fellow thespian. I am part of a community based theatre group in the Pacific Northwest that has been going for 30+ years. As you know, after that long of a run everything starts to fall into a state of disrepair. I am hoping you will help us spread the word about our kickstarter campaign to keep music alive and kicking in the boondocks. Here is the link: Every bit helps and it would be appreciated if you shared it with everyone. Thanks for your time!