Kingston Theater: “The play is presented with a neat bow”


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This year’s Domino Theater Christmas offering is “My Three Angels,” a less traditional play written in the early 1950s by husband-and-wife team Samuel and Bella Spewack. Indifferent to much of the typical vacation fare, this is a play that instead focuses on the opportunities for redemption, and the kind of steadfast, non-judgmental support that we all enjoy every now and then in our lives, even from the from the least probable angels. .

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Located in French Guiana in 1910, the temperature gracefully dropped to 104 F on Christmas Day. Three convicts are employed as roofers by the Ducotel family, in desperate need of housekeeping (and much more). On the way to France, there is a malicious cousin who wants to oust Ducotel from the company, as well as his cold-blooded nephew, who abandons their daughter for an heiress. The three convicts determine that this is their chance and their place to make matters better, and they leap into action.

Written in a contemporary classic style, with three full acts and two short intermissions, the two-and-a-half-hour production would present a significant challenge for today’s attention span, even under the most ideal circumstances. The story here unfolds and winds slowly, first through the exhibition and then through the action of the play. There is little variation in tempo and tension, and the methodical rhythm of the delivery seems to cancel out some of the slight whimsy inherent in the text.

Surprisingly, there is a lot of death in the storyline, played out with an apparent lack of respect for life. In its absence, with little obvious remorse (or even turmoil), empathy tends to give way to apathy, leaving limited space for the compassion that is supposed to be at the heart of the work. One notable exception is the performance of Kimberly Dolan. Fully engaged and engaged in the love and sorrow of young Marie-Louise, she is the character we truly care about throughout the play.

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It’s somewhat ironic that Rob McMahon’s strong portrayal of the entangled villainous cousin Henri might elicit some sympathy, as he appears to be surrounded by incompetent fools and fools. Among the “Three Angels” themselves, Joseph stands out as the audience favorite because he’s the most colorful, and Douglas Connors is obviously the most fun to fill the role. Kasia Gorczyka also makes a fun appearance as bothersome neighbor and shop owner Ms. Parole.

Despite the pace of production, director James Gow manages to stage well-composed stills and images to capture some of the play’s most meaningful moments – like the Ducotel family sitting down for Christmas dinner, with a pruned tree just behind. Ruth Moore’s period costumes are a delight, and Grant Buckler’s set design provides an effective backdrop, with attention to detail that adds texture and depth, enhanced by Kyla Todd’s magnificent stage art. All of this is highlighted by David L. Smith’s lighting design, bringing color and undertone to every corner of the stage.

This production of “My Three Angels” is very pretty and comes with a neat knot meant to spark the spirit of the season. Once unwrapped, it might not be the gift we expected, but if it truly is the idea that matters, then the Domino Theater volunteer community continues to deserve both our gratitude and our support.

Essential

My three angels

A presentation of the Domino Theater written by Samuel and Bella Spewack, directed by James Gow and presented until December 18. Tickets are available at the Grand Theater box office, www.kingstongrand.ca.

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