Justice well served


Six Degrees of Separation


Written by John Guare

Directed by Tom Wojtunik

Gallery Players, 199 14th Street, Brooklyn


Equity Showcase (closed September 30, 2007)

Review by Michael D. Jackson


John Guare’s gem of a play, Six Degrees of Separation, was beautifully revived in a very entertaining production directed by Tom Wojtunik for the forty-year-old Gallery Players in Brooklyn.


Guare’s script is full of good humor, intrigue, the popping of over a dozen colorful characters, sleekly drawn and pointed.  It is, in fact, a modern Pygmalion with contemporary ramifications. The plot unravels like a mystery, telling of a strange evening when Sidney Poitier’s son, Paul (Richard Prioleau), visits Fifth Avenue art dealers, Ouisa (Laura Heidinger) and Flan (Mark Hattan).  The couple is charmed by Paul until he is caught in their home with a male hustler.  What follows is a wild goose chase to apprehend Paul and bring him to justice.  Along the way we are given scenes of how a street kid educated himself to fit in with high society.


Paul was masterfully portrayed by Prioleau, making it easy to understand how so many could fall under his spell.  Heidinger and Hattan were equal to their roles and made the leading narrators of the tale both comic and sympathetic.  The fine supporting cast included Richard Vernon, Joe Moretti, Jamee Vance, Kevin Kelleher, Justin Herfel, Kelly Scanlon, Jonathan Gregg, Tommy Buck, Robert Schorr, Ben Schnickel, Musto Pelinkovicci, Craig Jessup, Ben Roberts and Jacqueline van Biene.


Tim McMath’s sparse black box set allowed for the many locations to be depicted simply and Wojtunik’s direction moved freely over the palette.  David Withrow’s costumes lived up to the script’s demands while defining character––a key ingredient in a play with many characters appearing for short instances.  Travis I. Walker designed the lights with simplicity, but with occasional flourishes.  Todd Hendricks complemented the atmosphere with his sound and original music.


The Gallery Players can be proud of their season opener and it is a testament to their forty years of producing theatre classics.


Box Score:


Writing: 2

Directing: 2

Acting: 2

Sets: 2

Costumes: 2

Lighting/Sound: 2



Copyright 2007 by Michael D. Jackson



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