In the original novella, a man tells a story told to him by his governess when he was a boy. The events in question unfold over seven days during the governess' first assignment. Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, whose work has been seen on many local stages this year, has adapted the story into a two-person play. Lindsay Marcy plays the governess, and Craig Johnson plays all the other roles, including the master of the house, the housekeeper, the little boy, and various spooky sound effects. I don't want to say too much about the plot, because it unfolds in such perfect suspense and anticipation, that I don't want to ruin it for anyone. Suffice it to say it involves a governess with the best of hopes and intentions about her new position (which means things are sure to go wrong), a little girl who does not speak, a little boy who was kicked out of school because of "unspeakable" acts, a cowering yet dependable housekeeper, a Gothic tower, a stormy lake, ghostly apparitions in a stately home in the English countryside, rumors of lust and suicide, and an ambiguous ending. What more does a spooky story need?
|Lindsay Marcy as the governess and |
Craig Johnson as her charge
The Theatre Garage stage is bare and open, with a spiral staircase hinting at the majesty of the manor, a barren tree representing the garden, and a miniature house hanging from the ceiling (set by frequent Jungle Theater contributor Joel Sass). The lighting (by Paul Epton) and sound (by Katharine Horowitz) do much to create the sense of foreboding that's so much a part of the piece. Whether it's music or a sound like a heartbeat, or anything in between, the sound keeps you on the edge of your seat. Similarly, the lights go up or down depending on what's going on in the moment, and the darker it gets, the bigger the delightful chill you feel. Directed by David Mann, the pace is pitch-perfect and all of the elements come together very satisfactorally.
There are only three performances left of this show. Get your tickets now if you want to experience a classic spooky thrill this Halloween. As a bonus, you can stay for more late night ghost stories after the Friday and Saturday night performances (see Torch Theater's website for more information and to reserve your tickets, and check out the half-price ticket deal on Goldstar.com).