Going to the theater doesn’t always involve the bright lights of Broadway. Sometimes, (some would argue most times) the most meaningful theatre is found in smaller venues and independent spaces. Such was the case with “Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War.”
The concept: Robots have taken over the Earth and a band of survivors in Russia are taking to the airwaves with a 1950s-style live radio program to entertain their countrymen. Conceived by Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte and Lila Neugebauer and created with the ensemble, this piece of theatre transforms the small downtown space it was staged into a broadcast studio. The writing by Marc Bovino and Joe Curnutte is both period appropriate and fresh at the same time, and Curnette himself provided the foundational performance as the radio program’s host. Most recently seen in the Off-Broadway hit “Unnatural Acts,” Curnutte volleyed between farce and fear, giving the type of performance the other cast members could build on. Stephanie Wright Thompson, Marc Bovino and Michael Dalto each provided performances so comfortable and full of depth, it was easy for the audience to feel connected and close to the story.
Moral of the story: When you get the chance to see a piece of theatre that’s not a touring production of Wicked or the newest show on Broadway, you should . “Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War” proves that small venues and small casts can tell a larger than life story so impactful, my heart raced at the thought of an impending robot attack. But more than that, I feared for the characters and cared about their fate.
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Photo courtesy of The Mad Ones.