REALIGNING THE UNIVERSE IN WESTPORT
By Bonnie Goldberg

If the universe is slightly off-kilter, and you make a mistake, perhaps you can get the universe back into alignment and “do over” your error.  That is the hope of Peter Mollberg when he attends his twentieth high school reunion and confronts Kari Hermansen in a slow dance of accusations and lost love, mistakes and second chances.

The hundred year old dance hall in Pine City, Minnesota , slated for imminent destruction, is the setting for Craig Wright’s bittersweet and lovely romance “The Pavilion” now lighting up the stage of the Westport Country Playhouse until Saturday, May 31.

Two decades ago Peter and Kari were voted the Cutest Senior Couple, until Kari discovered she was pregnant and Peter chose to run away, when he should have stayed by her side.  Now fast forward to their reunion, when Peter has come to make amends and beg Kari to restore the love he so callously discarded.

Michael Laurence’s Peter has been paying the price for his cowardice for a long time.  Even though he is a psychologist, he can’t cure what ails him:  only Kari’s forgiveness and love can.  Tracy Middendorf’s Kari was “rescued” by a fellow classmate Hans after having an abortion and has been trapped in a job in a bank guarding valuables, when she has nothing of merit of her own.  To her, what they once had and treasured has been irretrievably lost.

Narrating this poetic and philosophical tale is Michael Milligan, who serves as everyone in the class in attendance at the dance, and he does an admirable job as every Carla, Denise, Lisa and Tom, Dick and Harry.

Chad Rabinovitz directs this touching memory play of pain and poignancy, love and loss, regret and repair.

For tickets ($30-55), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, route 1, at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529, or online at www.westportplayhouse.org.

Performances are Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.  For other reviews of this and other current theatrical offerings, go to www.ctcritics.org.

Discover for yourself if the universe in general and Kari in particular can find forgiveness for Peter as you travel through time on a journey of the heart.

(This review will appear in the Middletown Press on May 29, 2008.)

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