The Town Players of Newtown’s production of Veronica’s Room is a creepy mind trip of a thriller by Ira Levin (“Rosemary’s Baby”, “Deathtrap”) that you’ll be thinking (and dreaming) about long after you’ve left the theater. This is Hitchcockian suspense expertly directed by Pam Meister Jones that had the audience gasping throughout the plays many twists and turns.
The basic storyline is this: College student Susan (Nicole Morin, Danbury) and her lawyer boy friend Larry (Stephen Saxton, Ridgefield), find themselves invited to a mansion outside of Boston by its elderly caretakers, John Mackey (Christopher Bird, Newtown) and his wife Maureen (Elizabeth Young, Newtown). They’ve asked Susan to impersonate the long dead Veronica in order to solace the family’s sole surviving member, Cissy. She is dying of cancer and believes Veronica is still alive and angry at her. The caretakers want “Veronica” to give her sister peace so she can die without regret. Despite her boyfriend’s warnings Susan agrees to do it… More than that I cannot say without revealing the many secrets that are yet to come.
Nicole Morin has an infectious sweetness and charm that reminds me of Drew Barrymore. Her Susan is at times terrified but strong as she tries desperately to hold on to reality as it slips through her fingers. Christopher Bird and Elizabeth Young are both excellent as the caretakers who may not be what they appear to be. And Stephen Saxton gives a strong performance as the loyal boyfriend with secrets of his own.
The set design by Tim Huebenthal (currently starring in an excellent production of Becky’s New Car at the Ridgefield Theater Barn), and lighting design by Nick Kaye, are excellent. Every time I go to this theater I am amazed at how they can transform their small stage into something new and wonderful; in this case into a claustrophobic bedroom that hasn’t been touched since 1935.
The play runs a quick 90 minutes and I encourage you to see it. It’s fun, scary, and so twisted you may have a hard time falling to sleep afterwards.
Performance Dates: Fridays & Saturdays November 8-30 at 8 PM, Matinees Sunday November 17 & 24 at 2 PM
18 Orchard Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470
Main phone/box office: 203-270-9144
OTHER SHOWS OPENING AND RUNNING:
Master Class closing weekend at the Music Theatre of Connecticut Studio Theatre
Becky’s New Car opening at the Ridgefield Theater Barn
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, at The Brookfield Theater for the Arts
Freud’s Last Session continues at the Square One Theatre
The Price continues at the Seven Angels Theatre