Theatre Review

Elemental’s ‘Vacancy’ is chilling theatre


Local playwrights Alex-ander Platt and David Rabinow were each challenged to write a short play that takes place in a seedy motel room. The two talented authors then decided to merge their works together, creating a single production.

The result is a chilling, well-crafted play that will keep you on the edge of your seat in the up-close-and-personal 95 Empire Black Box Theatre.

Platt, who has gained a well-deserved reputation for his work as an actor, shows his talents as not only a writer but also director of this six-character, one-act production. The set depicts two similar motel rooms where two couples are staying. Both have serious relationship problems and both have visitors.

Marshall (Jeff Hodge) and Elise (Katie Travers) are a couple but drifting apart. He is very sick to his stomach, and she is caring for him. When she goes out, he is visited by a ghost from his past (Shura Baryshikov). Their story becomes a bit esoteric, psychological and physical and is enhanced by the incredible movements of Baryshnikov.

In the other room, Linda (Melissa Penick) is tied to a chair and tortured by her boyfriend Kent (Cliff Odle). In flashbacks, we learn that they are involved in a scam with Rachael (Karen Carpenter), who has scammed them. Things get complicated with the three characters, resulting in physical confrontations.

That’s about all I want to tell you about the plot, except that it is for “mature audiences.” Trust me that the two stories mesh beautifully and the acting and script becomes very intense and physical. Being so close to the action only intensifies your involvement in this realistic production, shades of Sam Shepard.

Elemental Theatre continues to challenge actors and audiences and push the envelope further and further. They have involved some very talented people both on- and behind the stage.

If you want to see some good, cutting-edge theatre, check them out. They perform at 95 Empire St. in downtown Providence through May 6. Tickets are $15. Call 447-3001.


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