Tri-State Theater

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Thursday, November 05, 2015

"Selections from The Twilight Zone" - A Review

   It's always exciting to see a local theatre company tackling an original project, and the Appalachian Arts Collective has managed a mix of "something old and something new" with its production of Selections From The Twilight Zone.
   The play is based, of course, on the classic TV series created and hosted by the gravel-voiced Rod Serling. That makes the show an even bigger draw for me, since I was a huge fan of that show.

   It's most famous for its twist endings, but that wasn't the show's only weapon - it also offered up thoughtful, surprising morality tales, and that's the focus here.

   The show features three "episodes," all written by Richard Matheson (one of the best writers in the show's arsenal): "Nick of Time," about a couple who find an amazing gift - or curse - for the price of a penny; "Night Call," with a series of mysterious phone calls that reveal a secret side to a bitter woman; and "A World of His Own," a surprising tale about a man who's in complete control of his life. Maybe.

   The actors do a terrific job bringing the stories - and the '60s era characters - to life. They run the range from Christopher Vincent's evocation (but not imitation) of Serling's hosting of each segment to Tyler Eldridge and Olivia Morris' newlyweds facing a moment of decision, to Susan Marrash-Minnerly's ill-tempered older woman who isn't what she seems, and Kimberlee Gibson's indignant, upper-crust wife.

   The set and costumes serve the show well, managing three different sets in the small stage space, including everything from a lunch counter to a cozy living room and an actual telephone pole!

   The series was always a terrific balance of great acting and smart, thoughtful and heartfelt writing - and this show captures that, sometimes with an edge, and often with humor.

   It's a terrific production and comes highly recommended, especially if you're a fan of the series. It's a bit of a trip to see it spring to life in front of you - from the small screen to larger than life on stage (and in 3-D)!

   Don't miss it!


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