Zoetic Stage delivers a overwhelming ‘Betrayal’ during a Arsht Center
May 16, 2015 - accent chair
The silences in Zoetic Stage’s emotionally harmful prolongation of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal are complicated, vivid and riveting.
Coached before a uncover starts by immature actor Daniel Llaca who has a brief comic spin as a waiter, a assembly sensitively observes Pinter’s roiling told-in-reverse story of an event though contributing a possess “whispered” explanation or creation a loud exits and reentries that too mostly confuse from performances in a Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater.
But a museum lovers in a Betrayal audience isn’t simply following instructions. They’re enraptured by a fascinating, well acted prolongation of a play by a Nobel laureate who incited a romantic lessons of his possess prolonged event into an interesting work of art.
Zoetic, that has won commend and a series of Carbonell Awards given it launched during a finish of 2010, has had copiousness of artistic highs in a comparatively brief history. But executive Stuart Meltzer’s prolongation of Betrayal, so richly acted by Chaz Mena, Amy McKenna and Nicholas Richberg, belongs during or nearby a tip of Zoetic’s physique of work.
Pinter’s 1978 book unfolds mostly in shelter chronology, commencement dual years after a finish of a seven-year event between a literary representative named Jerry (Richberg) and gallery owners Emma (McKenna). Emma is married to Robert (Mena), a publisher and Jerry’s best friend, while Jerry is married to a never-seen Judith, a doctor. Each integrate has dual children.
Meltzer has unmoored a play from a strange time frame, that starts in 1977 and marks behind to 1968. A pivotal tract indicate involves a minute Jerry sends to Emma while she’s vacationing in Italy with Robert — this is before a internet and cellphones done long-distance communication between unlawful lovers so most easier — though a obscurity about time creates this Betrayal seem even some-more timeless.
So does a neat nonetheless classically desirous set pattern by Michael McKeever: a contingent of towering archways, any containing a singular chair, to that a characters can shelter when they’re not personification out a scene. Beautifully bright with ever-changing hues by lighting engineer Rebecca Montero, a set underscores a essential loneliness and siege of 3 people whose lives have been firm together in fun and pain.
McKenna’s appealing Emma is a bit ill-at-ease and crisp as she reunites with Jerry for a splash and a confession: She has spilled a beans to Robert — who, as it happens, has been doing copiousness of intrigue himself. Richberg’s large Jerry is nonplussed. After all, it’s one thing to lift on a long-running event with your best friend’s wife, another thing for him to know about it. Yet when an emotionally jumpy Jerry gets together with Mena’s coiled Robert after that dusk to somehow arrange out a mess, his crony seems roughly dispassionate as he reveals that, not for a initial time, Emma lied.
Bridged with song by drum actor Dave Wilkinson, a scenes emanate a rich, accumulative mural of a triangle able of profanation both infrequent and calculated. Pinter explores jealousy, possessiveness, narcissistic self-interest. He does this in difference and subtext-filled silences, durations of suspicion and greeting that a 3 actors fill so vividly we can roughly hear a ideas using by their heads.
McKenna and Richberg expertly navigate their shelter tour from exes to burned-out lovers to a integrate voracious for sex. In a play’s final moments, that exhibit a start of a story, he is dipsomaniac and ardent, she faraway and reluctant. But one hold establishes a tie that will impact 3 lives and means copiousness of material damage.
Like his associate actors, Mena employs an exquisite British accent as he crafts one of a best performances of his career. His haven as Robert is all surface, only another manipulative tool. Mena’s use of simmering annoy and aggression, his ability to contend one thing while clearly deliberating something wholly different, supplement adult to impressively layered work.
Professional productions of Pinter’s plays are rather singular in South Florida, and for those who adore play that’s both intellectually and emotionally engaging, that’s a shame. Zoetic’s Betrayal is a sign of only how absolute an judicious prolongation of a good play can be.
If we go
What: ‘Betrayal’ by Harold Pinter.
Where: Zoetic Stage prolongation during a Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday (additional opening 3 p.m. May 16), by May 31.
Information: 305-949-6722 or www.arshtcenter.org.