If you ask me…

- Tom Holehan

THEATRE 4 OFFERS A QUIRKY "PRIVATE EYES"

I finally caught up with Theatre 4, the new, professional New Haven based theatre company that has already produced a handful of productions in the area.  The plucky group, with no permanent theatre to call their own, has performed in various venues since 2007 including Long Wharf’s Stage II and the Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown.  It was at the latter that a smoothly directed (by Janie Tamarkin) production of Steve Dietz’s quirky comedy, “Private Eyes” was recently presented.  If this is evidence of what the group has to offer, they are a company very much worth watching.

“Private Eyes” begins with what appears to be an audition and then twists and turns as it casts a shrewd eye on the theatre, psychiatry, marriage, infidelity and the nature of truth.  Shades of Christopher Durang and Samuel Becket percolate just underneath Dietz’s witty and wise observations.  Theatre 4’s casting here is equally strong.   Philip M. Gardiner, Rebecka Jones, Robert Resnikoff and Jackie Sidle all deserve praise with a special shout-out to Mariah Sage, pricelessly funny as a gum-snapping waitress who turns out to be much more than that.

Designer Tate Burmeister has provided simple, functional settings and he is equally adept with his precise lighting.  You have this weekend to catch the show in yet another venue, the new Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook.  Theatre 4 is a promising company that deserves its own home – hopefully sooner than later. 

“Private Eyes” will run June 10-13 at “The Kate” in Old Saybrook.  For further information call 877.503.1286 or visit: www.t4ct.org.

Tom Holehan is Co-chairman of the Connecticut Critics Circle and Artistic Director of Stratford’s Square One Theatre Company.  He welcomes comments at: tholehan@yahoo.com.  His reviews and other theatre information can be found on the Connecticut Critics Circle website: www.ctcritics.org.


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