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Hamptons Theater Review: Yasmina Reza's "Art," Presented By Our Fabulous Variety Show

T.J. Clemente

Edward Kassar, Sawyer Spielberg, and Joe Pallister. (Photo: Michael O'Connor)

Art, a play written by Yasmina Reza, is being presented on the John Drew Stage at Guild Hall in East Hampton until Sunday, May 5. It is being produced by Our Fabulous Variety Show, in association with Nimbus Productions, and is directed by Jenna Mate.

I enjoyed this show immensely, as did the audience. The applause was above the usual roar of approval. There was appreciation of the effort and skills the actors exhibited via the small intimate setting of the "theater in the round," format that guarantees everyone at least a second-row seat right up on the historic stage.

It is a three-man cast consisting of Edward Kassar as Marc, Joe Pallister as Serge, and Sawyer Spielberg as Yvan. All three actors are superb and each has a true theater moment when their acting talent takes over and draws a total array of emotions out of you. The laughs, the groans, the oh and ahs from the audience was total proof that the show was working and the audience was thoroughly engaged.

Edward Kassar's brilliance was obvious in the ease he portrays Marc. Mr. Kassar has a tall charisma, an engaging physical acting skill that drew me into his complicated character. His performance was like a collection of fireworks with sizzle, pop, and explosions. Kudos to Mr. Kassar.

If you are an East End theater going individual, you know of Joe Pallister. He a dynamic male actor with a stage presence and energy that in the past has carried many shows over the finish line. However in Art, Pallister draws out the talent in his fellow actors while propelling this show to great heights. His energy, the power and dexterity of his voice, and facial expressions are pure genius. His explosive stage movements keeps the audience involved in every nuisance of Yasmina Reza's lines.

There is a certain magic in watching Sawyer Spielberg act. He has a profound ability to play conflicted young souls. You can feel the gears in his mind turning as his lines come out. It is arresting and effective. His telephone call scene with his mom had me almost stand and applaud right then and there.

I want to add that the white "4' by 3'" canvas art piece also plays a part in this show, I must confess being so close to the action I found myself studying the art piece to find genius, even if it was just a prop.

The show is a ninety minute, one act play with plenty of movement, power and energy. I must applaud director Jenna Mate for her skill of having her actors move about the stage in an almost chess like way.

I am going back to see this show again with my wife. I bought the tickets already. It was that good.

Tickets are $28 in advance and $35 at the door. Shows will be held Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, call 631-507-4603 or visit www.ourfabulousvarietyshow.org.

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