EXCERPTS FROM THE REVIEW
The following are excerpts from the April 7, 2015 MD Theatre Guide Review of Ghosts by April Forrer
…Everyman’s production pulls us back to a time when extramarital dalliances, if caught, could destroy reputations and crush souls, and it skillfully immerses the audience in this restricted world.
Ghosts is about a rich widow and mother who, because of restrictive societal and religious views, keeps her late husband’s indiscretions a secret. But when her only son returns home with a terminal disease and wanting the truth about his father, she realizes she must fight against society’s rules to try to save her dying son.
The shocking subject matter is hardly shocking now, so the play must stand on its own story-telling merit, and Everyman’s production has it in spades. Deborah Hazlett as the mother, Mrs. Helene Alving, embodies a grief-stricken but strong woman. She deftly carries the play, and the other characters revolve around her as they present themselves: a domineering and righteous Pastor Manders (a solid James Whalen), a sleazy money-hungry Jakob Engstrand (played flawlessly by Bruce Randolph Nelson), a young innocent, Regina Engstrand (a believable Sophie Hinderberger) and a son, Osvald Alving, whose life of privilege and travel has caught up with him (a convincing Danny Gavigan).
The story is played out in front of one of the most beautifully done sets I have ever seen. Daniel Ettinger’s set is a perfect vision of a large Victorian parlor, with its red velvet couch, heavy wood table with stout high back chairs and the back of the set lined with floor to ceiling windows looking out to leaf-stripped trees. The most amazing thing about this set is that the constant rain the story calls for is there, falling against the windows and streaming down the panes of glass. This effect is skillfully enhanced by Stowe Nelson’s sound design and Harold F. Burgess II’s lighting design. David Burdick’s costume design is well done, and Hazlett’s dress is a work of art.
Again, Ghosts will hardly shock most people today, but Everyman’s production makes the story worth seeing.