EXCERPTS FROM THE REVIEW
The following are excerpts from the September 13, 2015 DC Metro Theatre Arts Review of An Inspector Calls by Gina Jun
Everyman Theatre officially opened its 2015/16 season by reviving J.B. Priestley’s multi-Tony Award-winning play, An Inspector Calls,a classic English drawing-room mystery à la Agatha Christie – part melodrama and part psychological thriller – reframing its carefully plotted social critique against the backdrop of an increasingly changing world.
Exquisitely staged and visually appealing throughout, Scenic Designer Timothy R. Mackabee and Props Master Jillian Matthews have created an elegant dining room set highlighted with ornate décor, featuring an eye-catching Persian rug and glimmering crystal chandeliers.
Jay A. Herzog’s superb lighting and Elisheba Ittoop’s slightly melodramatic but very effective music coupled with David Burdick’s stunning costume design serve the tremendously talented ensemble well.
From start to finish, Visionary Director Noah Himmelstein thoroughly underscores the fine detail and texture of the acting, which smartly succeeds in creating both an interesting set of predominantly unlikeable yet somewhat comical archetypes – specifically, the gruffly arrogant businessman and his brittle wife – while, perhaps, suggesting that the characters themselves are putting on pretentious airs in order to evade their social conscience.
Resident Company members Deborah Hazlett and Bruce Randolph Nelson render outstanding performances as Sybil and Arthur Birling with a precise dose of indignation, capturing the haughty demeanor of ones who is far more interested in their positions in society. Hazlett was particularly noteworthy with her wielding mannerisms and brazen, yet amusingly humorous, quips to Inspector Goole’s persistent inquisition.
Brilliantly bracing and thrillingly thought-provoking, Everyman’s production of An Inspector Calls resurrects a period piece seemingly rooted in the early part of the 20th Century and makes it as relevant and as compelling as ever to an 2015 audience, with a modern theatrical shine.