Theater review: Company One’s ‘Splendor’ doesn’t quite live up to its name

ENTB_Splendor_1029

“Splendor” began as “Thanksgiving,” a blisteringly funny short about three women talking trash in the waiting room of a Boston-area ballet school.

The riotous tale was so well-received as part of Company One’s 2010 production “GRIMM” that playwright Kirsten Greenidge expanded it into a two-and-a-half hour story spotlighting the unseen fourth woman about whom most of the trash was being talked. While this may have seemed like a good idea at its conception, its realization, sadly, is a convoluted mish-mash of sub-plots that lack both the depth and drama to sustain a full-length play.

Every one-dimensional cliche about working-class people in the Boston area is employed in this listless tale of an educated, successful bi-racial woman’s puzzling return to a town that ostracized her in high school. Apparently, she initiated the change of the school mascot from the Chiefs to the Trojans, out of respect to Native Americans, an odd precursor to the downward life spiral the other women experience.

The script isn’t the only trouble with “Splendor.” Director Shawn LaCount employs arena seating with mixed results. Becca Lewis, one of Boston’s finest character actors, has her back to one section for most of the show. When she finally moves, a pole blocks that same section from viewing her. Lewis’ facial expressions are priceless — but only if you can see them.

The actors play characters over a span of decades, but their physical aging is distractingly inconsistent. While the suspension of disbelief is the nature of live theater, some of the leaps we’re asked to take teeter too closely to implausible.

A silver lining gleams in the performances of Molly Kimmerling (Nicole Gazza Mahoney) and Alexandria King (Fran Giosa). Alas, great acting isn’t always enough.

If you go

‘Splendor’
Through November 16
BCA Plaza Theatre
539 Tremont St., Boston
$20 – $38 ($20 on Wild Wednesday)
617-933-8600
CompanyOne.org


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.