Slow-moving, unfulfilling exploration of education in America. Ideas abound in the form of speeches and statements, but they do not find sufficient dramatic form to engage us and drive the story. Some key conflicts feel artificially inflated. Little theatricality in this straight ahead narrative. Script not helped by static direction.
A collection of strangely varying scenes, styles, genres. Slow-paced exposition initially drags. Once the straight-faced business of worrying about little Charley is done (some of which veers close to the Guffman frontier), the media circus amps up. Luisa Sermol steals the show (but much too briefly) as a vaudevillian wonder.
Here they come. Third Rail has a world premiere by a Portland playwright, and it’s a story about America’s complicated public school system.
Directed by Philip Cuomo, and with a cast including Bruce Burkhartsmeier, Gavin Hoffman, Jacklyn Maddux, Maureen Porter, John San Nicolas, and Rolland Walsh, A NOBLE FAILURE by Susan Mach sounds like the perfect way to ring in the new year’s theatre season.
Opening night is next Friday, January 11. More info here.