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Larry Litt


"Lost in Space"


Lost in Space
By Dejan Dukovski
Translated by Rajna Koshka Hot
Directed by Petar Varbanov
Producers Club 358 West 44^th St. NYC
Reviewed on March 23, 2014 by Larry Litt

Ensemble acting is a joy to see and hear especially when it's bringing life to a well written script. You can tell when actors have respect for each other's craft, they give each other space to perform. In fact when I do attend a play where there is that kind of supremely strong interaction I feel like I too am on stage, in the midst of art unfolding.

In 1944 six young people from different backgrounds are living in an abandoned mine. We don't know how long they've been there but it's been a while. Somehow they've been fed, clothes and heard news of the world war going on above them.

Artan Telqiu's Fascist prone Adolph is violently showing signs of wear from the close proximity. When he loses his control Christian, ably played by Tihomir Andonov with an ironic wit, is his target. They are both in love with the only woman living in the mine. Actress-singer Iva Valkova's character calls herself Maria Lili Marlene Dierich. She is abandoned with her cabaret costumes. She too is on the breaking point but she knows something morecanhappen to keep life worth living.

But it is Otto, the gentle giant who forages for wild hallucinogenic mushrooms who tells the story of what life underground, away from both sun and moon is doing to these hidden souls. How long does it take for the self to realize his own madness has taken over? How long before tolerance of others turns to violence?

This play's fun loving couple Vincenzo and Benjamin are just two guys who've found fun and excitement with each other. Eric Paterniani's Vincenzo's wonderful patter is so stylized he made me laugh whenever he spoke his lines. Vincenzo's energy delivers well with Stephen Shore's Benjamin rather introspective, the strong silent type.

Petar Varbanov's direction on this small stage make use of every inch. I believed Dejan Dukovski's characters were living down deep in a mine shaft leading to both more darkness and eventually escape into the light.


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