By – Maximilian Tieman
What’s better than seeing a burlesque dancer, an amazing play and a superb local band? Seeing all three in one night in the same place of course. And that’s just what happened at Artwell Studio on Water Street in Torrington on Saturday night. The Desultory Theatre Club had its third evening of local entertainment and it was a resounding success.
The evening started off with the sexy styling’s of burlesque dancer Dot Mitvah. She was able to due something usually very difficult, combine sexiness with humor. She started off playing as if she were drunk and would be unable to due her act, bottle of wine in her hand and all. But it was soon made clear with a couple of perfectly executed moves that this was all a ruse. She continued for 10 minutes or so with the enthusiastic whoops and hollers of the crowd.
The absolute highlight of the evening came next, easily one of the best plays I have ever seen. Written by Boston native Danny Balel and directed by Desultory Theatre Club founder Keith Paul the play was New York good and had some of the best writing I have yet seen.
It was in four parts, each concerning different time periods in a single relationship, when they meet, sometime later when they are living together, years later when they are married and start having trouble, and finally their very emotional break up. The couple was played magnificently by Dan Derks and Emily Holland, both of whom I hope to see again and I’m sure will go far in their careers. The most amazing part is before that night they had never even rehearsed together except on Skype. And when you see the honesty of their relationship on stage that is even more amazing.
I must take a moment to speak about the writing of this play. It was wonderful. Not at all what you expect when seeing local community theatre. The first segment is both hysterical and very real. I believed these 2 people were meeting for the first time and had a connection. It gets more and more emotional as the play progresses and the characters are written beautifully as if this was all taken from real life experiences.
The play also has an excellent supporting cast including Robert Richnavsky as both the waiter in part one, the delivery man in part two and the new guy in part four. He able to be slap stick funny in part one, kind of ignorant silly in part two and absolutely dramatic (even executing a perfect stage punch) in part four. Joining him in the supporting cast is the announcer, played perfectly by Paul Revaz, a grand overseer type character that introduces each section and drinks continuously throughout as if he needs the alcohol to coup with the ongoing downfall of the proceedings. He tells a very touching story at the opening of act three and he absolutely nailed it giving it exactly the amount of emotional resonance that it needed at that moment.
The play was followed by another titillating performance by Dot Mitzvah and concluded with the music of local band Bipolar Jukebox. These guys were great with a lead singer with a deep, gravely and amazing voice belting out excellent rock n roll with his very talented band. They continued on for sometime as people were able to have a beverage and mingle for as long as they liked enjoying themusic and discussing the nights other fine acts.
Outside was the Rocket Fine Street Food food truck with their tasty array of burgers, tacos and the best French fries your likely to get anywhere. They even put out free chocolate chip cookies for everyone coming into the night’s events.
All together an amazing evening for the low price of $10. It’s the most fun out I’ve had in Torrington in some time and can’t wait to see what The Desultory Theatre Club comes up with next! .