by Ryan Kerr
I hesistate to describe Le Salon Secret’s production of Boston Marriage as “delightful” for fear that the compliment is taken to mean anything less than “entertaining”, “marvelous”, and “divine.” Given that Boston Marriage was written by playwright David Mamet, it’s important I choose my words as carefully in my review, as he does in his script.
Described as “the secret lives of late 19th century lesbians,” Boston Marriage is a combination of deliciously verbose period prose and an outlandishly funny story of three characters whose shenanigans had both my guest and me in stitches.
While the play itself is a comedic masterpiece on its own, Le Salon Secret’s production takes the experience to a whole new level. It is only after purchasing your ticket that the location of the play is revealed (I’m sworn to secrecy – don’t worry, it’s easily accessible by both transit and by car) and the venue they have chosen is so intimate that only about 25 guests can see the show per performance. We were encouraged to bring wine and chat with one another, grab a chair and get comfortable. When was the last time you felt at ease in a commercial theatre?
But further still, the actors of Le Salon Secret mingled with the audience before and after the show, breaking the “fourth wall” of the stage. We were all invited to meet fellow theatre enthusiasts, and also three very talented actors.
Rebecca Northan used her extensive comedic experience to portray the malicious and entitled protagonist of the story, Anna. Her melodramatic monologues were evenly seasoned with exaggeration and sincerity.
Daniela Vlaskalic’s Claire was perfectly conflicted, as she attempted to balance the complexity of her actions with the esteem of her current lover and potential lover-to-be.
Finally, Julie Orton as the unfortunate, dense creature who wound up as Anna’s servant, was a perfect rendition. It takes much intelligence to play dumb convincingly.
Despite the potential of stylized dialogue and eccentric subject matter to be exclusive and confusing, director Ted Dykstra crafted a seamless and accessible piece of theatre.
There is one more weekend of Le Salon Secret’s Boston Marriage. I suggest you see the magic for yourself.
Boston Marriage plays this Thursday January 27th – Saturday January 29th 8pm.
The location of the play will be revealed after tickets are purchased online at www.lesalonsecret.com