On a cold winter night, somewhere in America, the lives of 17 people collide as they plunge into a dark, indifferent city: the scheming wife of a Senator, a hapless lover, a mother searching for her child, a bellhop with a mysterious hatbox, a sociopathic cab driver, a woman dressed in purple who may or may not travel through time, a brother and a sister confronting their grief, a self-absorbed starlet, an ordinary woman with butterfly wings. They all have one thing in common: The Hotel Nepenthe.
Nominated for SIX 2012 Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards: Best Ensemble, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, Best New Play, Best Production of a Play, and Best Director of a Drama.
Nominated for SIX 2011 BroadwayWorld Boston Awards: Best Actor (John Kuntz); Best Actor (Daniel Berger Jones); Best Actress (Marianna Bassham); Best Ensemble; Best Direction of a Play; Best Production of a Play
Nominated for FOUR 2011 Elliot Norton Awards: Outstanding Ensemble; Outstanding Actress (Marianna Bassham); Outstanding New Script; and Outstanding Director.
Winner of TWO 2011 Elliot Norton Awrds: Oustanding New Play (John Kuntz) and Outstanding Ensemble (Marianna Bassham, Daniel Berger Jones, John Kuntz, and Georgia Lyman).
Winner of TWO 2012 Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards: Best New Play (John Kuntz) and Best Lighting Design (Jeff Adelberg).
... David R. Gammons's jumbled dream of a production, unfolding before a series of dressing rooms with bits and pieces captured by a video camera, is both theatrical and elusive ... Moreover, the director/designer has assembled a cast that gets the collision of whimsy and yearning in Kuntz's work almost as well as he does. Marianna Bassham, Georgia Lyman, and Daniel Berger-Jones juggle their dodgy and haunted characters as smoothly as they do their outfits and wigs.
... David R. Gammons masterfully does triple duty as director, scenic director and costume designer. He divides the rear of the stage into four cubicles, like department store dressing rooms, with rods holding the costumes on hangers in front of them. The main acting area becomes in turn a hotel room or another locale where the action takes place. Gammons pushes the pace to fast forward, often blocking one scene overlapping the next to prevent the audience's attention from flagging. A somewhat bizarre curtain call delivers an antic ending.
... They say that the only constant is change. Physicists think that this is more literally true than we know; Kuntz and Gammons take the stupefying possibilities and turn them into a crystalline work of theatrical art. If changing reality to our own preferences were possible, one might wish for The Hotel Nepenthe to have a longer run; as it is, we must content ourselves with a brief passage through the eye of an inter-dimensional storm ...
By John Kuntz
Actors’ Shakespeare Project
The Storefront on Elm Street, Davis Square, Somerville, MA
February 25 – March 13, 2011
Photos: David R. Gammons