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
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…