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TRME teels The Zoo Story with refreshing simplicity


By Edward Albee

The Tech Random Music Ensemble

Room 3-133, April 27, 28, & 29 at 8 pm

Dress rehearsal reviewed.



THE TECH RANDOM MUSIC Ensemble's production of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story is both superbly acted and directed. Derek Clark '89 and Steve Gisselbrecht '91 are convincingly true to life as the chilling drama's two characters, Peter and Jerry. Under the direction of Wellesley College's Leba Hunter, the duo puts on a very good show.

The play is set in Central Park on an average Sunday afternoon in the spring. A well-dressed man, Peter, is sitting on a bench quietly reading and smoking a pipe, as he is accustomed to, when Jerry walks up announcing that he had been to the zoo earlier that day. What follows is a conversation between the two characters from which the audience discovers much about them.

Peter is the typical family man: a wife, two daughters, a cat, and two parakeets. Jerry, on the other hand, lives alone on the top floor of a boarding house and unabashedly discusses his humble existence and promiscuous sex life. Desperate to keep Peter's attention, Jerry entices him with the promise of telling him what happened at the zoo earlier. The climax of the story, during which Jerry tells the zoo story, nevertheless surprises and confounds the audience.

Clark portrays the middle-class executive Peter perfectly. His reactions to Jerry and their conversation are natural and expected. He seemed comfortable with his movement on stage and took special care to emphasize details with the props, body language, and facial expressions. His brilliant attention to particular aspects of Peter helped bring the audience into the scene of the play and enabled them to see him as a complete character.

Gisselbrecht's interpretation of Jerry is also excellent. He did seem a little bit stiff on stage at first, but that could be said to go with Jerry's personality. As the play went on, Gisselbrecht immersed himself in the character of Jerry, giving him depth and sensitivity. By the end, with the unexpected plot change, Gisselbrecht had given an exhaustingly powerful performance.

The Zoo Story itself is a profound drama. Simultaneously serious and funny, TRME tells the tale with refreshing simplicity. I guarantee that you will leave the theater speechless.