Great Expectations

Decades before Freud, Charles Dickens had a keen psychological insight: A wounded psyche will seek relief by inflicting pain on beings that resemble its own vulnerable self. This poignant truth lends power and pathos to the novelist's most iconic work, Great Expectations, and informs the most interesting of Kevin McKeon's directorial choices in Book-It's lengthy but ultimately satisfying production. True to the 1861 book, this adaptation chooses as its main conflict the betrayal by the ambitious Pip (Lee Osorio, pictured) of his lower-class origins. Jane Jones, as the emotionally pickled Miss Havisham, is a bit banal at first, but emits a marvelously malevolent glow once her web ensnares its prey, as much an arrested young bride as a vindictive old prune. Performances aside, the sheer size of Dickens' opus is a challenge to adapt in two-and-a-half hours. Adapter Lucinda Stroud's first act bogs down with scene setting, introductions, and exposition, but her second act picks up. MARGARET FRIEDMAN [See Margaret's full review.] Runs Wed.-Sun.; see website for exact schedule. Ends March 13.

Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 11. Continues through March 13, 2011

 
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