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by Anthony Chase
Matthew LaChiusa’s new play, Shine, now playing at the American Repertory Theater of WNY in the basement theater at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension (16 Linwood Avenue), is an engaging little potboiler of a show about small-town hypocrisy and corruption. The publicity describes the piece as being reminiscent of Our Town, but I’d say it’s far more Tracy Letts and Osage County than Thornton Wilder and Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. There are dark secrets and deceptions lurking in the shadows of this Tennessee town, where right-wing politics and the manufacture of moonshine exist hand in hand.
Michael Wachowiak heads the cast as the unwilling heir to a moonshine legacy. He narrates the story while trying to make sense of his murky family history. David C. Mitchell adds to his repertoire of evil Southern power brokers as a local politician who controls everyone’s life.
Under the direction of Mark C. LLoyd, the cast, augmented by the talents of Michael Leszczynski, Carolyn Lansom, Billy Horn, and Gabriel Robere, weave the deliciously treacherous tale with enthusiasm. The production continues through May 17.
Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v13n18 (Week of Thursday, May 1) > Theater Week > Shine
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