“crackling with conflict…deeply satisfying” –Washington Post on Opus

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Opus. Olney Theatre Company Image.

If you are in the Washington D.C. area, try to see Opus, directed by our own  Jim Petosa, director, School of Theatre, at the Olney Theatre in Maryland, where he is artistic director.

Performance pressure is a constant with musicians.  Add passion and ego to the mix and you have an atmosphere ready to boil over.  And now, just before they are to perform in a televised concert at the White House, one of their players is missing.

Runs through July 3. Ticket information: call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.

Director Jim Petosa makes a fine show of all this. The stage is a floating wedge suspended by thin cables — taut, fragile strings. It’s an elegant platform for the actors, and they perform solo and en masse with flair.

Benjamin Evett is magnetically spontaneous as Dorian, the soul of the group. Dorian is funky and flaky, and Evett effortlessly suggests the character’s immense talent and psychic fragility.

Evett’s soulful turn anchors the performance: His Dorian is the emotional wild card that gives Elliot license to be a domineering taskmaster, a hissing part that Michael Kaye plays to the hilt. A good deal of depth and intrigue are added by the fact that Elliot and Dorian have been quietly having an affair.

Shelley Bolman strikes a note of lonely professionalism as Alan, Paul Morella makes a blissful art of being casual as the cool cellist Carl, and Becky Webber is superb as Grace, the admired but tentative new member of the group. Each performance is sharply etched, and you rapidly come to feel rather deeply for these figures. The evening hurtles along at less than two hours (no intermission), crackling with conflict but alert to ache; it’s a deeply satisfying show, and utterly well composed.

–Nelson Pressley, Washington Post

Opus

by Michael Hollinger. Directed by Jim Petosa. Set, Cristina Todesco; costumes, Kathleen Geldard; lights, Daniel MacLean Wagner; sound design, GW Rodriguez. Through July 3 at the Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney. 

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