Under the direction of Melissa Foulger, who directed Aurora's productions of "Clybourne Park" and "Lark Eden," this production is hilarious and full of heart.
Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay create a realistic set for Lizzy’s (Courtney Patterson) and Jack’s (Brad Brinkley) backyards for “Maytag Virgin.” CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS BARTELSKI
In most two-person shows, lighting and sound are often used to fill the dead space in the air due to lack of stage business, but that is not the case in “Maytag.” Sound designer Daniel Terry’s effects provide only the ambience necessary for the story, and not a thing more, and he leverages the wind chimes well. The two actors fill the space and never miss a beat.
Set designers Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay bring their signature hyperrealism to the backyards of these two country houses. The scenic design is absolutely impeccable. From the herb garden to the assortment of wind chimes and birdhouses, to the colorful glass bottles hanging from Lizzy’s tree, the attention to detail is splendid. Even the trash heaps in Jack’s mess of a backyard look real.
That said, this level of realism weighs the show down in some areas. The fake grass kept rolling up and the actors played it off well, but it was a distraction. This is also a very prop heavy show, and though props designer Kathryn Muse did a nice job, it seemed cumbersome to move props on and off stage, and the scene transitions were long. As beautiful as it all is, this is a situation where Coco Chanel’s advice to take one thing off would have come in handy.
Still, Patterson’s and Brinkley’s touching performances illuminate the script in the best ways. It is as if they were built to play these roles. From the first tiff to the last kiss, they pull the audience into Lizzy and Jack’s budding romance, and it is simply delightful.
Through Feb. 11. $20-$55. Aurora Theatre, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222, auroratheatre.com.
Bottom line: “Maytag Virgin” is a laugh-filled, poignant look at love after loss.
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People 2 People January 16, 2018