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” ‘Epic’ was the task faced by Frank Galati to adapt John Steinbeck’s 500-plus-page, Pulitzer-winning novel into a three-hour play. “Epic” was the feat of reengineering the Avon Stage to accommodate the weight of the Colorado River. “Epic” was the job of director Antoni Cimolino and his cast of twenty-one”
This show may be successful in terms of presenting the history of a great American social tragedy, as a reminder of the conditions that yet exist for many, and of the need for compassion for the less fortunate. If it’s to really engage audiences, however, there’s work to be done.
3 Stars: “…superb actors like Buliung and McCamus bring dimension to even the most underdrawn characters, but in the main, while there are a few touching moments courtesy of actors like Ross and Robert King, others like Wright and Ertmanis never seem to achieve that vital third dimension that brings the theatre to life.”
3 Stars: “The climatic scene where Rose of Sharon (Chilina Kennedy) gives birth in an abandoned boxcar while the male Joads get soaked to the bone trying to stop a rising river outside is theatrically thrilling.”
“We live in the age of the TV sitcom, dominated by existential angst, family dysfunction and all manner of sexual shenanigans. Drama with a powerful social and political message is rare enough to make this adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath an exception rather than the rule, which makes this fine production all the more noteworthy.”
3 1/2 Stars: Cimolino, together with his designers John Arnone (set), Carolyn M. Smith (costumes) and Steven Hawkins (lighting) evoke a series of still lifes that recall the rural work of Edward Hopper, placing bleakly skeletal structures against a sky that always seems to be threatening, whether it’s dawn or dusk.