Taproot Changes Scenes with Brooklyn Boy

Taproot is off to an incredible season.  Only two months ago, they opened their new theatre doors to the public after recovering from arson.  Each new play has brough incredible surprises.  The Great Divorce brought great depth and new costumes.  Brooklyn Boy shows new use of stage.  They have a new way of using their stage.  You have to see how incredible they are able to move the walls and stage to change scenes with ease. 

As for Brooklyn Boy, there are times in our life when nothing turns out like we expected.

Brooklyn Boy opened at Taproot Theatre last night.   Some plays are simply respites from the day to day durge.  Some inspire us to be better.  Brooklyn Boy gives us insight into who we are and helps us appreciate things a bit more.

Jeff Berryman did an marvelous job of walking us into the world of Eric Weiss, a man who grew up in Brooklyn sometimes after WWII.  His father, played by Bob Gallaher, was the spitting image of a slimmed down Rodney Dangerfield.  Just watching the interplay of these two men explained so much of two complete generations – not only was the writing terrific, but the acting was superb.

Probably my biggest surprise of the night was newcomer Nicholas Beach.  He is new to the Taproot Stage, but he was fantastic.  His energy and quality bode well for his career.

Alex Robertson, who last played Clarence in December with Taproot brought new moments of depth and seriousness.  His ability to work with voices is fantastic.   Jesse Notehelfer has an unusual role, as a would-be seductress.  Lisa Peretti plays the wife who wants a divorce.  She brings the maturity needed to pull this conflicting role off – and I noticed in the program that she has a debut album coming out this Spring!

This play will answer questions of your heart and strengthen the resolution of your mind.  I think you will really enjoy an evening with this Taproot play.

You can learn more, and purchase tickets at Taproottheatre.org

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2 Responses to “Taproot Changes Scenes with Brooklyn Boy”

  1. Lawrence Christopher Says:

    I saw the show this weekend, and i agree that your readers will enjoy this Taproot show. However, i found your review a bit lacking in detail and therefore potentially misleading. My first contention is your comparison between Bob Gallaher’s character and Rodney Dangerfield. Whereas both men are lovable, sharp, patriarchs, that’s about where the comparison ends. Bob Gallaher’s performance was nothing less than unique and brilliant. The masterful subtlety of his performance alone is worth the ticket price. My second contention is with this vague statement: “Jesse Notehelfer has an unusual role, as a would-be seductress.”….That’s it? What about Ms. Notehelfer’s performance? personally I was floored by what an intelligent performance it was. Notehelfer managed to duck the blindingly obvious choice of making her character a typical, blonde, Californian, ditz and rather shaped her character as an intelligent (albeit inexperienced and outwitted), young go-getter who unveils her vulnerability and still retains her dignity and strength when the adults in her world do not. That takes skill; and Notehelfer proved that she’s as skilled as they come. My third contention is that Nikki Vissel is the only performer not mentioned – not sure why that is… Personally I thought Nikki was a delight; and what a treat it was to see her depart from the kind of roles I’ve seen her play in the past. I’m, admittedly, a bit long-winded here, so I’ll close up shop. Readers…do yourself a favor and go see this show. The performances are simply top-notch (easily as good, if not better, than what can be found in the big houses downtown), the script is sharp, witty, and moving, and Karen Lund’s direction is perfectly unnoticeable (she guides her performers through this piece and you never she her hand – brilliant).

  2. kimmartinezstayingfocused Says:

    Thank you for your incredible write up. You definately have a way with prose. I agree with you regarding Bob Gallaher’s performance. The fact that he reminded me of Rodney Dangerfield was in fact a real surprise – it means he sold me on the role. I haven’t always been a fan of Dangerfield, but he was a 100% actor and he always delivered.

    As I said above, Nicholas Beach did an great job. Jeff Berryman, poignant and impressive, was probably his best when he was acting against Beach and Gallaher.

    Honestly, Nikki was an oversight. However, I spoke less of the actresses in this play because they have done better. I thought that Jesse did a good job of expanding her abilities, using a new level of skill. She has played roles that she totally won me over – not this time. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Lisa on stage. She had a good scene that depicted the freaky emotional walk women take sometimes, and I am really looking forward to hearing her album.

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