Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA
Not a review
After several cancellations due to rain I saw this world premiere musical last night. Barred by the theatre from writing a review the comments below are intended to aid audiences in enjoying the experience. The show has been designed to be seen at the reflecting pool at the Clark Art Museum in Williamstown and is an outdoor experience. The show starts, officially, at 8:00pm and runs for two+ hours getting out at shortly after 10:00pm. It is in one lengthy act. Use the restroom before it starts. The seats are metal chairs - not uncomfortable but tiring after such a long time. I was told that the show missed many rehearsals due to the weather and so they werre not ready be reviewed, but the ticket price is still around $90 per person. Based on the performance I saw I believe the cast is absolutely ready to perform this show. Is it worth the price? I cannot say.
The Cast of Row: photography by Joseph O'Malley & R. Masseo Davis
What you should know before you go
1. Dress warmly. Northern Berkshire nights can become cold, even in August. Bring a sweater or jacket; wear a scarf. I don't know how the 10-member cast survive each performance.
2. There are no programs. Go on line and print one out for yourself so who you know who the characters are. Some are identified as Tina Turner, Cher, Dolly Parton or Barbra Streisand. None of them sound like those stars.
3. The sound is loud. Well amplified, a Foley artist controls what you hear. The eight musicians make a big sound and the singers do also.
This is a true story about the first woman to row, solo, across the 'Atlantic Ocean. Some of what occurs takes place in her mind and not in reality. In this scene (to the right) she confronts Amelia (Earhart, but not identified as such in the program listings). It is one of several moving moments.
Grace MacLean & Micaela Diamond
Playing in a water-based environment provides many unique opportunities for mirrored images. They are beautiful. The lighting is special, designed by Jen Schriever, and also gives you visuals that surround the pool. It is more than half the physical beauty of the show and will make it a difficult show to move to another location.
ROW will continue through August 15. For information and tickets call the box office or consult their website.
+ 08/03/2021 +
John McGinty & Micaela Diamond.