True West

True West, opening June 13 at Jean’s Playhouse, tells the story of two estranged brothers from different worlds. Finding themselves together again in their mother’s home in California, the two set about their own business. Austin starts writing a love story, and Lee goes out to steal a television… but gradually they begin to assume each other’s roles. True West, written by the master of western American family ‘dramedies’ Sam Shepard, has been described as “true theatre.”

The cast features Joseph Freeman as Austin, Josh Sticklon as Lee, Gary DuBreuil as Saul, and Maureen Polimeno as the Mother. Some may recognize Gary DuBreuil from his recent appearances on the Jean’s Playhouse stage in this past winter’s A Christmas Carol, Love Letters and Hate Mail. Another familiar face gracing the stage again is Maureen Polimeno, who was previously in A Christmas Carol and You Can’t Take it With You and also happens to be a Trustee on the Board of Directors for Jean’s Playhouse.

With such a talented cast of performers, this is a show you don’t want to miss! The show runs from June 13 to June 23 at Jean’s Playhouse, and commences a stellar professional season of comedies and musicals including The Complete History of America (Abridged), The Musical of Musicals (the Musical!), The Sound of Music, and My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra. To get more information about the season and to purchase tickets, log onto www.jeansplayhouse.com or call the box office at 603-745-2141.

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True West Review: Written by Brittany Irish

Recently, I had the privilege of seeing one of Sam Shepard’s brilliant plays, True West, performed at Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln, NH. This show captures and exposes the estranged relationship of two brothers who eventually find themselves out to be more alike then they thought.The wooden cabinets, granite-like counter tops, and tile floor set up the home of the brothers’ mother’s house. It reflects well the character of the mother, who does not come in until the last two scenes, with its sparseness. Scenic designer Matt Kizer also incorporated a water spout in the kitchenette area, which was used several times throughout the show.

Joseph Freeman (Austin) and Josh Sticklin (Lee) have an astounding chemistry between them. The two play brothers very convincingly, which was a joy to watch. Austin and Lee have not seen each other in five years, but both end up in their mother’s home in California at the same time each with their own agendas. Austin sets up a meeting with a producer named Saul (Gary DuBreuil) to begin work on his “project”; however once Lee shows up with a stolen television, he quickly steals Saul’s attention away from Austin as well. The tables slowly begin to turn and it is now Austin who is helping to write Lee’s script. Tempers flare, toasters are stolen, and typewriters are smashed, and then Mom (Maureen Polimeno) comes home.

Patrick Stinson, director of True West, did a wonderful job creating a sense of humor despite the many dramatic moments within the show. The light playful moments helped to distract audience members briefly from the turmoil that continues to grow. The lighting and sound design by Dan Brunk created the atmosphere where the characters lived. The crickets and coyotes at night brought the audience into the world of the characters. The transition from night to day was very well executed and the colors chosen to light the stage were stunning.

Overall this show was beautifully executed. The actors had a natural connection with one another, which was interesting to watch, and the set and lights complimented each other perfectly. The show runs for one last weekend this coming Thursday (20th) through Sunday (23rd). It is a show that should not be missed.

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