Written in 1999, the play Touch by award-winning playwright Toni Press-Coffman, is sure to tug at the heartstrings of any who watch. The earnest drama about a young scientist and the death of his wife, a tragedy that consumed his life, is a moving experience, to say the least. This type of drama is very demanding of its cast, and requires an incredible ability to relive a horrific tragedy in a real and engaging way. The Montgomery Playhouse and Director Bruce Hirsch certainly succeed in their current production.
Director Hirsch stages the show beautifully, and realized that there is no need for over-the-top sets, or any set at all. Hirsch uses 4 chairs and simple and sleek lighting from Lighting Designer Peter Caress to set the stage. He employs his cast to tell the story with no props or elaborate costumes. This leaves the players to win over our imagination, each of us picturing our own tale in our heads. It was an excellent and very effective choice from the director.
As the forlorn husband Kyle, actor Dan Guy is exceptional in this challenging role. Most of the first act is Kyle speaking a monologue that any actor would find daunting. Guy takes it in stride. After the beginning scenes there were few moments where he did not have my eyes watering as I pictured the events he so aptly described. He portrays a real and poignant character, where the climactic moments could have been easily overdone.
Kyle is joined by his loyal friend Bennie Locasto (Tyler Everett Adams), sister-in-law Serena (Diana Hutter), and a prostitute named Kathleen (Kryss Lacovaro). All three actors give praiseworthy performances. My particular favorite and standout performance came from Lacovaro as the rigid, tough prostitute. Lacovaro was strong and harsh, but softened as the night grew on, thus providing some of the much needed comic relief of the evening, and delivering a heartfelt, multi-layered performance.
Director Bruce Hirsch and his cast make for an intriguing night of theater. If you are looking for a moving and powerful theatrical experience, The Montgomery Playhouse’s Touch is your show. And don’t forget to bring your tissues to this gripping drama. You’ll need them.
Running Time: Two and a half hours, with one 15-minute intermission.