In Michael Hollingers highly entertaining 2006 play, a string quartet loses its biggest asset--a tormented, bi-polar, drug-addled genius (Todd Jefferson Moore) who was also its Achilles heel. A year later, his replacement (Chelsey Rives) hasn't been fully accepted; and the group is scheduled to perform at the White House. Then things get even more complicated. Hollinger was trained as a violist at Oberlin Conservatory prior to becoming a playwright. His depiction of smart individuals who spend thousands of hours together in close collaboration feels authentic. One of the many delights of the swirling, lyrical one-act is how much of the dialogue feels like music. Lines lilt and flutter, overlap, call, answer, echo, and entwine like instrumental parts. There are verbal solos in which characters address the audience directly about music, their personal histories, and the history of the group. Another pleasure is the music itself, mostly Beethoven with a bit of Bach and Bartok, recorded by the Vertigo String Quartet specifically for the play. Though the actors arent playing their instruments, they mimic the movements well (minus the fingering) and the notes do appear to flow through their souls if not their digits. MARGARET FRIEDMAN [See Margaret's full review.].
Tue., Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Starts: Nov. 3. Continues through Dec. 6, 2009