In his play "Closer," Patrick Marber tells the story of four peoples’ lives intertwining over the course of four and a half years. Alice and Dan are initially together and so are Anna and Larry. With various encounters, the couples exchange partners.
That in turn creates multiple episodes of strife and unhappiness for all of them. The play is certainly dark, but it also has many welcomed comedic moments to lighten the mood. All in all, it is an interesting modern look at love and love lost.
The ensemble of four actors was particularly strong. Stacia Zinkevich (Alice) does an excellent job portraying such an enigmatic, albeit playful woman. Her various mood swings and reactions to the things going on around her kept me interested throughout the show.
Brian Proffit (Dan) served as an effective counterpart to Zinkevich. I felt that the conflict between Alice and Dan was very real. It was uncomfortable to watch, but nevertheless effective.
Timothy Burris (Larry) offers a strong performance, offering a great range of emotions throughout the play. I appreciated his character’s lighter moments and that was when Burris was at his best.
Jamie Carvelli-Pikrone (Anna) was also quite effective in her role. I feel that the strongest dramatic moment came with Anna and Larry towards the end of Act One. Once again, I can’t say that I was comfortable watching the conflict. However, I always welcome the opportunity to be challenged when watching theatre. This was certainly one of those examples.
It was obvious that there was a lot of thought that went into the staging of this production. Director Mary Foresta did an excellent job, particularly in the scenes in which there was a split stage conflict going on. This was visually interesting to me and made the play that much more effective.
I appreciated the subtle but effective sound design and original music by Sandy Stein. The music effectively added to the overall mood of the show. Timothy Burris did an excellent job with the set design, considering the sheer number of locales in the play versus the smaller theatre space with which he had to work. I personally would have liked to have seen just a little more set dressing, but it is understandable why it was kept simple.
I found the running crew of Michael Bennett and Sara Taylor to be top rate. This is another example of a theatre company in Las Vegas who refuses to surrender (or make excuses) to the challenging theatre space that they have. I appreciate that effort every time out.
Jonathan Pillen also did a nice job with his lighting design. I would guess that he would have liked a few more options, but once again, he did an effective job with the lighting instruments that were there.
While I was not entirely fond of the script, I most certainly was impressed with this particular production as a whole. It is definitely worth a look.
"Closer" runs through March 10 at the Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Drive in Las Vegas. For info or tickets, call 702-362-7996 or visit www.lvlt.org.