REVIEW: Ages of the Moon
Yeah, it's two older men sitting on a porch, but there's a lot more than meets the eye.
When actors the caliber of Daniel Britt and Michael Shooner team up with equally talented directors like Kevin Crowley and Michael Burnham . . .well . . . you expect stage magic, of sorts. And through the eloquent words of Sam Shepard in “Ages of the Moon,” the audience at the intimate Liberty Exhibition Hall is treated to a masterclass of theatrical goodness.
The play is reminiscent of Beckett; it’s just two men talking. Not a lot happens, though there are some incredibly physical moments. Britt, who has always been a very physical actor, gives so much of his tall and lanky body to the part of “Byron.” And Shooner, a more cerebral actor, uses his head and his gut to entertain and keep this show interesting.
I won’t ruin the plot with spoilers, though if you’re coming for the story, you might be setting yourself up. So instead, you go into this one expecting great character work, tremendous dialogue interplay, and the chance to be so close to two of Cincinnati’s finest equity actors that you could literally touch them if you wanted to. (Please don’t. At least not until after the show, when you reward them with a hefty handshake - or depending on how well you know them - a warm embrace.)
Directorally, the action moves swiftly - and the show is just under an hour long. Yet, even with such dense text, you’re never lost in the wordplay, which is a testament to all involved. And kudos to stage manager Annette Ouchie who plays a key role - especially in this sort of renegade theatre style.
Sam Shepard will never be my favorite playwright, but you do have to marvel at his ability to turn a phrase. And he knows how to write masculine characters, authentically reflecting on the past. And his words, coming out of the mouths of these two pros . . . well, it’s an excellent way to spend an evening.
Ages of the Moon runs at Liberty Exhibition Hall through August 22nd, including a few Monday evening performances so that other working actors have time to see it on their dark days. Click here for information on tickets.