Unlike Great Comet, Ghost Quartet doesn't have a lot of complicated Russian plot and characters to get in the way of the music. Rather, it's a song cycle, about ghosts and the supernatural, with a few recurring characters. Primarily two sisters named Rose and Roxy. Or Pearl. Or maybe they're mother/daughter, or daughter/mother, or lovers. Regardless, Ghost Quartet is two dozen or so really great songs in different styles, with little dialogue in between. Some of the dialogue is to introduce each song, some to tell a story or set the scene. Each song is an independent little story of its own, but all combine together to create a larger exploration of the theme.
Open for just over a year, the North Garden Theater is a cool space that doesn't look like a theater, rather a big open room with original brick and structure of the building exposed. For this show, the performance space is set up as a circle in the center of the room, bound by the performers' stations in the four corners with musical instruments galore (and whiskey!). Seating is at tables around the circle, and chairs beyond that. In the center of the circle is a chest set on area rugs, and performers sit at their stations or wander through the center as they perform. The staging is innovative and interesting, and the sound is fantastic in that space. Performers are miked this year but it's not too loud in the small space; it's done well to produce a really beautiful sound quality.
|Kellen McMillen, Quinn Shadko, Tristen Sima,|
and Christine Wade (photo courtesy of Theatre Elision)
Ghost Quartet continues through November 3.
*Much of this post is adapted from what I wrote about last year's production.