Directed by Charles Riffenburg
At BoHo Theatre, Chicago
Smartly staged and convincingly performed mystery is a treat!
Kudos to BoHo Theatre for selecting Ira Levin’s (Rosemary’s Baby & Deathtrap) Veronica’s Room and for mounting, under the tight direction by Charles Riffenburg, a first-class production of the mystery thriller. Utilizing the terrific set (designed by Jameson Sanford), the play is set in the 1970’s but the room is vintage 1930’s.
We meet a young female student (Amanda Long) and her lawyer boyfriend (Chris Ballou) as they seem to be touring an old house in New England. The older Irish couple, Sarah Wellington and Sean Thomas are the caretakers of the house. They convince the girl to role play as Veronica for the sake of an elderly sister who is dying but she believes that her sister Veronica is alive and living in the room they all now find themselves in. The girl agrees to do that and she changes into one of Veronica’s dresses. The adventure begins as the caretaker woman locks the door upon leaving the room. The girl – now dressed as Veronica – starts to sense evil.
Amanda Long is amazingly strong as the innocent girl who morphs into a combatant then a participate in the macabre games that she finds her self in. The result is a finely crafted suspense mystery that will leave you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what will happen next. Is it really the 1930’s or is it the 70’s? And are Veronica’s parents present to discipline Veronica for evil she has committed? You’ll have to see this worthy show to find out.There are twists that contain hints of incest, necrophilia, insanity and murder as well struggle to decipher who and what is real. Are these games or a warped reality?
What makes this show so compelling is that we “buy” into the girls sense of adventure that compels her impersonate Veronica against the advise of her boyfriend. Little does she know what evil lurks! This 85 minute journey into the macabre is well worth talking. The entire ensemble’s performance are impeccable as they smoothly move from Irish brogues to American New England accents and from 1930’s to 1970’s language and idioms. Amanda Long’s performance alone is worth getting to Rogers Park to see Veronica’s Room.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2013
For more info checkout the Veronica’s Room page at theatreinchicago.com
At BoHo Theatre, 7016 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, call 773-791-2393, www.bohotheatre.com, tickets $20, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm, running time is 85 minutes without intermission, through October 27, 2013