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Winter Theater Review: Tina Jones Is Brilliant In "Venus In Fur" At Quogue Community Center

T.J. Clemente

Tina Jones and Tristan Vaughan. (Photo: Tom Kochie)

Go see Venus in Fur, a modern play by David Ives that is being presented by the Hamptons Theatre Company at the Quogue Community Center until Sunday, January 28th. Tina Jones will amaze you with the way she lights up the stage with her talents, raw energy, and portrayal as Vanda. Her performance alone is worth the price of the ticket.

The plot revolves around Thomas, a playwright and director that is desperately struggling to cast the female lead in his adaptation of Venus in Fur. Thomas auditions Vanda, who is completely mismatched for the sophisticated part, leading to "the lines between reality and the story blurring as they play a game of submission and domination."

I must honestly say Jones' first 15 minutes on stage in this play is the best show stealing acting I have ever seen in a live show in my life. That is taking away nothing from Tristan Vaughan who plays Thomas and whose great chemistry with Jones is so obvious. I do many reviews and most of the time I try to find the best of the show and put a bright light on it. For this show, just watching Jones makes writing this review a pleasure.

That being said, Vaughn also brings much to the show. He is understandable in his dialogue and has some high grade comedic qualities to his acting skills. He is the perfect straight man for Ms. Jones.

While discussing the writing of Venus in Fur, one could talk about the various elements of power in relationships and the perverse way personal needs sways behavior based on earlier life experiences. But, since I did not get my college degrees in psychology, I won't dwell on this point. However, the writing of Mr. Ives will rock your comfort zone on matters of the power dynamic in relationships. In the end I believe it is the talent of Ms. Jones that will have you smiling on your drive or walk home after the show.

The coziness and comfort of the Quogue Community Center venue itself really adds to this show. The lightning with its sound effects is stunning and realistic, so much so that I had to blink to realize it was theatrics. As usual, the talents of Diana Marbury as Director and Sean Marbury - set design along with Sebastian Paczynski's lighting design adds to what I promise will be a night of laughs, smiles with giggles wit a touch of wonderment.

Venus in Fur can be seen on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. There will also be an additional matinee on Saturday, January 27 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $10 (for students) to $30.

Quogue Community Hall is located at 125 Jessup Avenue in Quogue. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hamptontheatre.org or call 1-866-811-4111.

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