Writer: Lisa Langseth
Adaptor: Charlotte Barslund
Director: Kathy Curtiss
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
The Scandanavian American Theater Company brings a lovely new Swedish play to the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row, with Lisa Langseth’s Beloved, in a beautiful translation by Charlotte Barslund. With heart and humor, Langseth’s play transcends cultural barriers to push against the line between love and obsession, healthy change and rash infatuation.
Ellinor DiLorenzo is charming and captivating as Katerina, the sole character in this ninety-minute show. She tells her story as she packs, unpacks, and repacks a suitcase with various accoutrements from her surroundings—a home that could be anywhere in the world—the stunning set by Lisa Renee Jordan that utilizes the quirks of the Lion Theatre quite nicely. As Katerina explains her transition from the drudgery of an everyday life to something unexpected, the soundscape of the music and words that set her free are interwoven expertly into her tale by sound designer Rychard Curtiss. The world envelops the audience, and an unexpected admission feels like a punch to the gut after DiLorenzo’s delightful nature has helped establish a reality in which the ending is truly shocking.
Kathy Curtiss’ direction moves the play along at a riveting pace, which is no small feat for a one-actor piece. Different elements of Katerina’s story occur in designated places within the scenery, giving both a thematic foothold and a clear understanding of present versus past as the action unfolds. The clarity with which every element of this play is addressed is dramaturgically bulletproof. Beloved is worth battling midtown crowds to experience before its brief run comes to an end.
Runs until 18 August 2018 | Image: Kait Ebinger