To say Coronado was an unexpected play would be an understatement. Walking in, not one audience member who hadn’t seen nor read the play before knew just what exactly they were getting into: sex, drugs, alcohol, murder, and a whole lot of “fucks” (pardon my French). Now in no way is this a bad thing at all. Most college students (if not everyone) would prefer to see a raunchy, modern play as opposed to something more along the lines of “My Fair Lady” (No offense to Shaw fans).
The theatre-in-the-round was a very nice choice for the stage. I’m unsure if every play in the Renegade is theatre-in-the-round but it was a very interesting choice for a play like Coronado. The entire space, including where the audience members were sitting, seemed as though it were a part of the show. One thing that made this apparent was the fact that there was a Rolling Rock light-up sign on the left wall of the stage behind a few audience members. This bright green Rolling Rock light made it feel as though everyone, including the audience members, were in a bar with the actors on stage. This, plus the arena-like stage set-up, made the entire experience a bit more three-dimensional, which is very difficult to accomplish.
Another aspect of the show worth mentioning is the music. The way in which music was used in Coronado effectively set the time and place, and theme, for which the majority of the show was going to take place. All without anyone explicitly telling the audience where or when the show was taking place. Also, Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” right when the show began put the cherry on top. It seemed as though it was foreshadowing what was going to happen throughout the play. You could almost connect it to Will and the regrets that he had at the time of his death. This is a perfect example of how music can be more than just a background noise.
One final thing that was slightly noticeable was the range in skill between actors on stage in terms of characterizations and portraying emotions (acting). The actor who played Will in his early twenties did a very nice job of getting the audience to like him for the first five minutes of the show and then hate him for the rest, but he always seemed a little too angry. Perhaps if there were some deeper meaning as to why Will was so angry all of the time then that would be understandable but it just seemed as though the actor didn’t know how to act any differently. Also, the woman who played Gina in her twenties had a noticeably monotonous voice. She did a great job with body language but her voice tended to stay in the same place with everything that she said. She was VERY pretty though, which made it easier for the actors playing her love interests to get more into character.
Overall, this was a fantastic show. The audience never knew what was around each corner as the show went on, which caused for a very suspenseful and worthwhile ending. Please see this show, but only if you are comfortable with sex, drugs, alcohol, murder, and a whole lot of “fucks.”
This page contains a single entry by Mark Harvey published on February 7, 2013 10:15 AM.
No Exit - UMD Stage 2 was the previous entry in this blog.
Coriolana - UMD Theatre is the next entry in this blog.
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