Keith Dougherty’s review of Veronica’s Room

November 4, 2018

Creative Theatre – Muddy Water Players

The Playhouse at Museum Village

     Ira Levin first produced Veronica’s Room on Broadway at the Booth Theater in 1973.  Also having penned Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, and Deathtrap, Levin proved that he could certainly write a play.  Once referred to as a “master of creepiness,” Levin does not disappoint with this disturbing psychological thriller.  In the interest of full disclosure, I happened to have played the role of the Young Man in Creative Theatre’s original production of Veronica’s Room many years ago, so I was especially excited to see what they had in store for me at the Playhouse at Museum Village last Sunday afternoon.

Skillfully directed by Terri Weiss, the packed audience was taken on a twisted road trip that had us all questioning what was real and who was really telling the truth.  Definitely for mature audiences only, Veronica’s Room opens in a mansion outside of Boston, in a bedroom filled with furniture, covered in white dust sheets. Set design, also by Terri Weiss, fit the period and mood perfectly, and lighting design by Bruce Roman was spot-on.

Lights up and we are immediately introduced to The Man and the Woman who claim to be elderly caretakers of the house and its sole, elderly occupant. They have brought the Girl and the Young Man to the mansion because the Girl bears a remarkable resemblance to Veronica, the surviving family member’s dead sister. The Man and the Woman want the Girl to pose as Veronica, hoping that the likeness will allow the elderly family member to find some peace, after living in guilt-wracked visions of the past.  Of course, such a potentially dangerous deception can only lead to trouble—as the Young Man points out—and guess what? It does.  We are taken on a journey through skewed time and perspective swings of severe mental illness, leaving the audience to question, who is actually deranged?

As the Woman, Karyn Meier gives a credible, tour de force performance, adeptly layering one persona on another with an expert touch. Gerard Weiss plays the Man with varying levels of compassion, pressure, and scorn. His versatility complements Meier’s character(s) very well, as both their distorted senses of reality guide the story. 

Peter Serritello, gives a respectable performance as the Young Man, although did not appear as comfortable on stage, and with the subject matter, as the rest of the cast. He appeared to come into his own with his latter character and gives us a nice alternate layer.

As the Girl, Alexa D’Amico, convincingly demonstrates a roller-coaster of innocence, vulnerability, then fear turning to terror. D’Amico is completely believable as the innocent and thoughtful young lady we meet at the start of the play, and shifts us, step by step, with the help of her talented cast, on an uncomfortable, yet intriguing, emotional ride.

Creative Theatre – Muddy Water Players production of Veronica’s Room will continue its run through Sunday, November 11. Tickets are available at the box office (845) 294-9465 or go to AtThePlayhouse.org

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