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SF Bay Guardian, June 4, 2003


Thomas' Timeless Truths

-- Rob Avila



Shotgun Players present Dylan Thomas's wonderful but rarely produced "play for voices" on the 50th anniversary of its first public performance (an event shortly followed by the poet's untimely death). Wafting through the public and private lives of an assortment of oddball characters in the imaginary Welsh fishing village of Llareggub, Thomas's lyrical, rotating narrative plumbs the depths of consciousness, unearthing the extraordinary in the quotidian, and the madness in the ordinary. Spanning a single day, this local odyssey intentionally suggests a Welsh Ulysses, but Thornton Wilder's Our Town also comes to mind in the timeless truths Thomas wrests from his loving, fearing, jocular, and grieving portrait of particulars. Ingeniously adapting for the stage a play intended for radio, director Gina Pulice, in excellent harmony with movement designer Amy Sass, first calls attention to and then explodes the pretense of a poetry reading, whereupon her lithesome eight-member ensemble-cast leaps with all sixteen feet into an enraptured embodiment of the play's action and images. Choice accents by set-lighting designer Jeremy Katz and music designer Aaron Krasner further complement an at times transportingly lovely and altogether unique production. (Avila)

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