Perhaps it is the heat. Perhaps it is the fact that there are over 185 shows participating in the 19th New York Fringe Festival to choose from that accounted for such a small turnout at The Robert Moss Theater. Perhaps it is that WILDE TALES an adaptation of three of Oscar Wilde’s “fairy tales” by Kevin P. Joyce who also directs falls a bit short on originality. It’s pleasant. It’s tuneful. It’s short – one hour. But it doesn’t seem quite ready yet for packing the emotional wallop that is possible.
Love. Heartbreak. Friendship. The selling of one’s soul. All these are present but WILDE TALES hasn’t yet found a soul or heart of its own. With some clarification and more professional actors the production might be better served.
These tales are for sophisticated children/adults – THE HAPPY PRINCE, THE NIGHTINGALE and the ROSE and THE FISHERMAN and HIS SOUL all deal with mature themes and no amount of puppets (Dorothy James Loechel) will entertain tots. And as presented there is not enough sophistication for adults. Granted this is very difficult to pull off. Sometimes it does work, so there is hope for the future of this work. A bit more style would help.
The six young actors do their best to inhabit the various characters but they need to hone their diction and projection technique. A lot. Especially if they are serious in their pursuit of a theatrical career.
Drew Paramore is the one to keep your eye on. And Sabrina Michelle Wardlaw brings a sparkle to the Witch. The words and wisdom of Oscar Wilde stand on their own. It’s hard to better what he created. Onward! Tickets $18.00
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