Friday, May 10, 2013

REVIEW: Union High School's Male Cast of "The Lord of the Flies" is to Die For

Union High School Players presents "Lord of the Flies" with TWO CASTS--one the traditional male and one female. The casts alternate nights. Last night I saw the gal's performance and reviewed it in a separate review. This is the review of the male cast. (You will find the schedule of the two casts on the review of the female cast. Link below.)

Tonight, we are young
And we can shine brighter
Than the sun

I set out to observe how each cast might play the scenes differently. I asked myself, how would women undergo these psychological and emotional transitions differently the men? There is a difference!

The original story is about males. The lines were written for males (though the line about socks and hats worked better with the females). The posturing and psychology reflects the male make up. Thus, the play works better with a male cast. Oh, the women did a fine job, but the male-centric play was just better with the guys. Performances overall were better because males act like males better.

Dominick Faraca as Muaurice and Christian Seavey as Simon.
Photo provided.

The Players

Performances overall were quite good, but there were standouts. Austin Babb was excellent as Jack. He got better as he became more of a brute. Therron (TJ) Pittman was good throughout Acts one and two (not quite timid enough through), but he really shone in Act three. His Act three soliloquy was absolutely awesome!

Perhaps Jake Lemberg gave one of the best transitional performances I have ever seen from a high school student. I saw him leave hope, enter frustration and fall into despair and desperation. It was a simply stunning performance.

However the cream of the crop that rose to the top were David Gofman and Austin WilliamsGofman's portrayal of Simon was marvelous. What a performance! Very strong emotional changes and a sincere, believable breakdown.

Williams as Roger was equally well played. Of course, I just love the character; so frenzied and maniacal. While Elyza Lester (as the female cast counterpart, Robyn) nailed her part, Williams exceeded it. Whereas she was either very good or had an awful lot of coffee, he must have been slamming triple espressos. A quirky, twitchy, insane performance! Bravo!

Other Worthy Notes

Overall there was more 'posturing' and realistic fighting (shoves and blows were solid and energetic) and the lines could be heard better from the male cast. The female cast was more leopard-like. They crouched more and moved and acted in a feral feline fashion. The male cast moved more like a pack of dogs, brutish and heavy.

The third act was especially brilliant (even though the blocking and lines were identical) and much more dramatic than was the female cast or, for that matter, the first two acts of the male performance. (It's like they got a pep talk at intermission.) It was full of excitement, charged with energy and emotionally raw and convincing. It was the moment when each cast member shined their brightest.

Run time was 15 minutes faster than the ladies performance.

For a complete review of the production (lighting, set, sound), a deeper look at the material and cautions, and my take on the all-female cast, click here.

Review by Gregory E. Zschomler

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