Friday, December 9, 2016

Review of Griffin Theatre Company's Winterset

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Winterset. It was by Maxwell Anderson and directed by Jonathan Berry. It was about a young man name Mio (Maurice Demus) who is looking for a way to redeem his father's name because he feels like his father had an unfair trial. Then he falls in love with a girl named Miriamne (Kiayla Ryann) but her brother Garth (Christopher Acevedo) is in trouble with this guy named Trock (Josh Odor) who killed the paymaster that everyone thought Mio's father killed, but Trock got out unscathed. Garth knows that Trock is the murderer, so Trock wants to make sure Garth doesn't tell anyone. The judge in the trial, Judge Gaunt (Larry Baldacci), is wandering around aimlessly acting crazy by the river where Miriamne lives and he is questioning his decisions about the trial. The show was about love, determination, and justice. I thought this was an interesting show and it made me curious about the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti that it was based on.

The two main characters, Mio and Miriamne, have a very rushed but adorable relationship. You question a lot of their decisions, like immediately saying that they are in love with each other, but they do seem to really love each other. These are tough roles to play without making them sappy, but I think the actors did a great job showing them as real people. If things had gone better, I think Mio and Mariamne would have stayed together for a very long time, possibly forever. Their romance reminded me a lot of Romeo and Juliet, but it wasn't a copy of any sort. They would do anything for each other and their families are the people who don't want them to be together. Miriamne's brother Garth really doesn't like Mio. Mio's father is the thing that is keeping Mio away from Miriamne, even though he is dead, because Mio is kept away from her because he is worried that his mission to clear his father's name will hurt her. It is kind of ironic that him trying to keep her away from him made her angry and then got her hurt. Garth is an overly protective brother which shows how much he loves his sister and doesn't want her to get hurt, but it is her decision. Garth's behavior doesn't give her very much freedom, which she really wants, and that shows that his kind of love is not very respectful of his sister's choices. Her father Esdras (Norm Woodel) seems to have a more laid-back sense of things for most occasions, which just shows the different ways that people express love in this play.

Mio was very determined to expose whoever had actually killed the paymaster that his father was blamed for killing. Having a goal set is very good, but it can be dangerous and Mio does face the consequences of his and of Trock's determination. Trock is determined that nobody finds out that he is more than just a creepy guy--he is a gangster and murderer. You know he is determined because of the lack of limits that he has for keeping a good name. He will kill anyone who gets in his way, he'll threaten an entire family, and he'll even try to kill his partner Shadow (Bradford Stevens). And he does all this while dealing with a chronic illness. Which kind of makes him amazing, but not a good person. It shows what happens when two determined people's determinations collide. I was definitely on Mio's side. Trock just kind of seemed like a jerk.

Justice is a very big theme in this show, but it doesn't seem like anyone ever gets it. There is only one instance where there might have been justice: when the corrupt Judge Gaunt may have gotten a taste of his own medicine, like if the policeman (Johnny Moran) didn't actually put him on a train home like they said but took him to an insane asylum. I thought that might have been what happened because of the way the cop said that they were going to take him on a train home in a kind of hinting way to the rest of the people. I think the playwright thinks that justice is a good thing but it is hard to get and things don't always work out the way you want them to.

People who would like this show are people who like determined enemies, intriguing love stories, and hopefully-fake trains home. People should definitely go see this show because it is not just your classic love story; it brings up a lot of topics that the world is dealing with right now like injustice, poverty, and loneliness. I found this show very interesting and I am still thinking about it.

Photos: Michael Brosilow

1 comment:

Mark Ehrenkranz said...

Not sure if last post went through. Would love it if you checked out GenZ Critics via www.nyfilmcriticsseries.com. Love your work
marke@nyfilmcriticsseries.com Peter Travers' and Series producer. Co creator GenZ Critics