Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fabulous "Fabulous Darshan"

by Georgina Young-Ellis

Workshop Theater Company's production of Fabulous Darshan, written by Bob Stewart and directed by Susan Izatt, is an extremely funny and terribly moving play about friendship, loss and celebration of life. A concentrated 90 minutes on a minimal but elegant set, Fabulous Darshan is really all about the acting.

Tim Cain plays Ken Satchel, an aging Broadway veteran of color who befriends a young, confused actor, Stu, played with fitting intensity by Evan Bernardin. Cain has an appealing physicality, and flawless comic timing that drives his character's self-deprecating gay jokes straight home. Ken's long-time friend and ex, Edmond, played with spectacular flair by Spencer Scott Barros, is the person Ken turns to when he needs someone near his own age to appreciate his references to old movies and Broadway shows. However his middle aged friend also shares the disease that the young men in the story do not yet understand or fear quite enough.

Mike Smith Rivera plays "Actor 1," taking on various characters including the Indian god Ganesh, a flamboyant talent agent, and a couple of Stu's promiscuous heartthrobs. Each character is so distinctly different, and each so entertaining, his presence on the stage assures plenty of laughs, as well as a thrillingly heightened tension.

It's clear that Ms. Izatt is an actor's director, equally clear that Mr. Stewart writes for them. The dialogue is sharp and fluid, the kind that actors can really dig into. There's high emotion as well, and each of these well-cast performers maneuvers it beautifully. Fabulous Darshan is a fun and joyful evening of theater; also a heart-wrenching one - well-balanced, well-produced and handled with love and expertise by all involved. The show runs through June 25th; go to for times and reservations.

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