Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer winner from 1938 is on few critics' lists of plays they'd love to see again. It's usually done with heavy doses of quaintness and really bad New England accents. Not so in the new and surprisingly fresh production at Addison's WaterTower Theatre. Director Terry Martin, who also plays the Stage Manager/narrator, heeds Wilder's rules for bare-bones props and scenery--to a point. Gradually, realism creeps in until, kaboom, a sudden burst of hyper-realism appears and underscores the play's timeless message about appreciating life's fleeting moments of beauty. The cast is superb, led by young actors Joey Folsom (DFW Theater Critics Forum's Emerging Artist of the Year) and Maxey Whitehead as George and Emily, the young lovers who experience joy and tragedy too soon in life. Emily Scott Banks, Mary-Margaret Pyeatt and Ted Wold are among the grown-ups in the little borough of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire--they're great too. Lovely work all around. And if you've never seen this play before, see this one as the benchmark against which to judge all others. Through October 24 at WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Rd., Addison. 972-450-6232. Reviewed at a preview September 25.
Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Mon., Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Sept. 24. Continues through Oct. 24, 2010