Full of monologues that wove together both fairy tale rhetoric and modern slang, Mystic Moonbeam Studio’s production of The Frog Prince by David Mamet, was more for adults that it was for children.
Though there were funny moments, such as a fart from the prince, and beautiful costumes, it was a tale of a man learning about loyalty, love and the consequences of his actions–with several long monologues that illustrate his development.
|The stage was decorated by the owners of Track Street Growers. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)|
Performed at Track Street Growers, the play had the audience in one spot for the opening scene before settling in at the stage for the rest of the story. The stage itself, which was decorated with wood and greenery, and the surroundings of the charming farm house with the greenhouses in the background really took me into the fairy tale realm.
Director Anna Fin’s commitment to the production was admirable. Having the prince ride on her horse for the opening scene really transported the audience to the time and place in which the play was set.
The magical transformation of prince to frog was much less elaborate than the animated depictions of a similar occurrence, but Gill Machlachlan’s performance as the witch, made it every bit as engaging.
There is always an allowance for live theatre, the audience needs to suspend their disbelief and not see a woman pulling frog gloves onto a man’s hand, but rather a witch cursing a rude prince. What makes an audience member willing to go along for the ride even though they can clearly see what is going on? The acting.
With very few lines, and repetitive ones at that McLachlan, who played the Witch, kept me enthralled, and her laugh had me believing she had access to magic.
Ray Cooper as the Serving Man also offered a marvelous performance. I could feel the chill when Cooper shivered during the winter scene and was near tears during a second pivotal moment (I won’t spoil it for you).
But the key element of the production was the Prince’s performance, he had probably 80 per cent of the lines and was in every scene.
Matt Krist was perfect for the role. His captivating voice demanded attention, he truly became the character, who was selfish, obsessed with his own voice and above it all, but changed as the story went on.
A magical play, the ending, which (spoiler alert) wasn’t happy, left me contemplating life’s little mysteries and where there might be room for improvement in my own attitude.