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Edward Albee has called Our Town “the greatest of all American plays” and I might tend to agree with him. It is, oft times obscured, a tough play that is unsentimental and rigorous in it’s assessment of the human state. New Hampshire version.

David Cromer has created a nifty version of the play that is true to the spirit of the piece and yet expansive and revelatory for our modern jaded times. Darren Sextro and OCTA are smart to grab this version and be the first to present it outside of Chicago and New York. Quite a coup for a non professional theatre!

And they do it pretty good justice. You won’t leave dry eyed, I can assure you. In this production, the play is allowed to speak very clearly for itself and, as Mr. Albee and I have told you, it is a great one.
Modern dress, house lights always up, this production does not thrive on artifice. And the actors are up to the challenge. They give simple, honest performances that gather strength as the evening goes along. This is clearly an ensemble effort so I won’t try and single people out lest I forget one or two, but the tone is set by a personable Coleman Crenshaw as the Stage Manager and everyone follows suit.

The third act of this play is a most beautiful 30 minutes. Sadly, having seen the Cromer production in New York, I found the shortcomings of technical resources here to be distracting. A bad wig and a bad set pull you out of the story for a bit but, thanks to some other winning aspects, all is not lost. The play is allowed to work its magic and indeed it does.

This is the best play going in Kansas City right now. You should see it.

Reviewed on KC Stage- Sept 22. 2010

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