Orange County Theatre Reviews

(All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

Written by Patrick Chavis 

“Love…” the word that has spawned countless stories throughout the generations.  The love story is its own genre in its own right. The power of love and what it means, and how it applies to different people and things seems to be a type of eternal well for good and bad drama. In Skylight playing now at the Chance Theatre in Anaheim Hills we once again explore love–the positive, the negative, and its limits in this 2 hour and 20-minute slow burn of a highly watchable theatrical performance.

Jessica Erin Martin (as Kyra) and Sam Bullington (as Edward) in David Hare’s “Skylight”, playing thru May 19 at Chance Theater.

Skylight is the story of Kyra Hollis. Played by Jessica Erin Martin, Kyra is a school teacher who teaches lower-income students somewhere in London, England.  Tom Sergeant (played by Steve Marvel) is Kyra’s former lover and rich restaurant owner.  When Tom comes to visit her after his wife has passed, the pair reconnect in Kyra’s apartment over dinner– but can they ever move forward after their troubled past?

Story:

Skylight is a slow burner of play. If you’re looking for some kind of clear idea of the relationship dynamics at play, you’ll get there — but it takes a while. The exposition moves through naturally, especially in the first act. The story really takes its time with the set up here but the three actors who comprise the cast keep you interested in what’s going on.

As you would probably imagine with a two hour play, there is a lot of dialogue.  Still, even with the mountain of dialogue required, the show doesn’t just become a back and forth fest between the characters.  I choose to attribute this to great direction from Oanh Nguyen–his characters actually explore the entire space throughout the play because of an ingenious set design.

SET: 

The set design by Bruce Goodrich and the lighting work by Matt Schleicher used in this show  are phenomenal!  It is about as good as it gets for live theatre.  Yes, it’s a small apartment design, but it’s so much more than that. The actual stage is lifted so you can see everything from wherever you are in the room. The design is practically a metaphor for the openness the play is expressing in this story.  They use different colored lighting– not only directly on stage but in the background portion of the set, visually setting the time of day. 

This is one of the best performances I have seen all year and the acting from each of the actors in this production was spot on. That being said, Jessica Erin Martin as Kyra really stood out. The play goes in so many different directions with Kyra’s emotions in this show and Martin’s acting throughout is effortless. I was highly engaged in these characters–so engaged in fact I found myself thinking “This is almost over…but I don’t want it to end.”

April 19 – May 19,2019

EXCEPTIONAL SHOW!
Review
9.3 Overall
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Story9
Acting9.5
Set & Design10
Costumes9
Entertainment9
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