"REVERBERATION" WILL RESONATE LONG AFTER CURTAIN CALL

Bonnie Goldberg

Everyone experiences moments of being alone and lonesome. If those moments, however, linger for months and even years, that emotional state can sink you into depression. Such is the fate of 35 year old Jonathan who has lost his life partner Gabriel in a tragic incident, one that Jonathan can't erase or forget. His world is now permanently colored in dark shadows that cause him fear and unhappiness.

In his world premiere play "Reverberation," playwright Matthew Lopez is inviting you to enter into Jonathan's state of being and become up close and personal with its realities. Ready or not, fortified with prozac or zoloft, the Hartford Stage is unmasking this psychological conundrum until Sunday, March 15.

Luke McFarlane's Jonathan does not easily share his secrets. He holds them close to his chest and guards them fiercely. If he isn't illustrating greeting cards of sympathy, he is indulging in alcohol, working out or surfing the web for casual male sex partners. Suddenly his new upstairs neighbor, in his cluttered Astoria, Queens apartment created in great detail by Andromache Chalfant, literally clomps into his life over his protestations. It seems her breezy outlook on life will bring his existence both hope and promise.

Aya Cash's Claire is eternally sunny and just what the psychiatrist would order for Jonathan's wounded soul. With her whimsical nature and his solid physical stability, they bring a freshness to their new friendship and it appears for a precious moment in time that their mutual needs can be met.

Bookending Claire's arrival is Wes, a young and eager-to-please boy toy captured in his sincere naivety by Carl Lundsfelt. His appearance, before Claire arrives and again after Claire and Jonathan reach a certain plateau in their relationship, causes a ripple in the lake, much like a stone sent skipping, with endless circles of reverberations. Maxwell Williams directs this brutally honest and often disturbing punch of reality with a steady hand.

For tickets ($25 and up), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at www.hartfordstage.org. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Be prepared for explicit sexual permissiveness as Jonathan struggles to surface from his spiritual drowning.



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