Review

Dramaworks' nostalgic Voice carries well

May 16 2007
Mary Damiano | Sun-Sentinel

Palm Beach Dramaworks loves to revive the classics -- what other South Florida company would do Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter and Stephen Sondheim in one season? Their current offering, John Olive's Voice of the Prairie, may not be as well known, but it fits in with the artistic standards of the much-lauded theater. McConnell remains one of the most interesting actors around, fascinating in both dialogue and silence. Here he convincingly plays five characters, changing from a charming storyteller to an abusive father with breakneck speed. Durkin gets a chance to indulge his comedic talents as Leon Schwab, a fast-talking radio huckster, and as James, a creepy, carnal, asthmatic preacher. Durkin's accents and his nimble physicality light up the stage. Gheridian deftly portrays three very different women, and excels at playing a blind character. Michael Amico's rustic set serves a variety of settings very well. John D. Hall's lighting design is gorgeous, illustrating the action with shadows and atmosphere. Daniel Gordon's sound design is stunning... Voice of the Prairie serves as a commentary on society's obsession with celebrity, even when it's unintended. In that regard, it departs from nostalgia and feels very modern indeed.