A few highlights of the show:
- Vanessa Gamble gives a beautiful performance in what is almost a one-woman show. She really does become Anne in all her forms - stubborn, spirited, joyful, fearful. The music flows seamlessly out of the dialogue, often using Anne's own words from the diary. Vanessa's performance of this beautiful music (by Michael Cohen) gives us deeper insight into Anne's experience.
- It's "almost" a one-woman show, because Vanessa is accompanied on stage by the always excellent Joel Liestman. He spends most of the show sitting at the edge of the stage, watching Anne, reacting to her, and providing another character for her to play against. He occasionally joins in for a song or discussion, playing Anne's teenage friend and fellow annex resident Peter.
- The set is like a floating island in the beautiful cavernous space of the Southern Theater, a mostly bare square box with just the hint of a window and a desk and chair, and Anne's words on the back wall. Anne never leaves this small area, like the real Anne never left the small apartment. Peter never leaves an even smaller box on the side; even when they're singing and dancing together and exploring their relationship, they never cross that invisible boundary, adding to the feeling of isolation and loneliness of the situation. (Nautilus Aristic Director Ben Krywosz is responisble for the direction and set design.)
- The lighting (by Michael Wangen) is like a third actor on stage, creating moods, hinting at the time of day, showing us the stars on Anne's face.
- The simple choreography (by JP Fitzgibbons) flows out of the music and emotion of the words and feels very organic to the characters.
Nautilus has been touring the show around the state for the past year or so, and it only plays for two more performances at the Southern Theatre. Buy your tickets here - it's a bargain at under $20 a seat for this beautiful and moving 90-minute show.
|Vanessa Gamble as Anne Frank|