On the heels of the first legalized same-sex marriages being performed in New York, a major achievement in equality and acceptance, as a society we tend to forget those you struggled before the 21st century. ?Lavender Shore?, a play written by Lawson Caldwell, currently showing at the Midtown International Theater Festival, does not allow us to forget as it explores the complexity of human relationships and the necessity to conform to the exceptions of 1930s elite society. The story begins when Daphane March Katie Yamulla finds out that she happens to be married to two men. It seems as though, Harrison Markus Potter, Daphane?s first husband, was lost to sea five years prior only to return on her wedding day, now married to her new husband Thomas Patrick James Lynch. Gwendolywn Rachel Claire, a friend of Daphane, informs Daphane of the Harrison?s return, although you are unsure at the time of Gwenie?s true intentions. It seems as though Harrison was found on an island, along with his butler, Gerald Colin Pritchard only a few days earlier and as the story unfolds, we, the audience, find out that while ?marooned? in remote paradise, Gerald and Harrison have became more than friends. Everyone seems to have differences in emotion in regards to Harrison?s return, especially Daphane?s Aunt Charlotte Colleen Kennedy whom refuses for these events to bring scandal upon the Marchs? name and Dr. Phillip Timmons Marc Gellar whom is playfully too interested in ALL the details that took place on the island. Amongst all the chatter and confusion of feelings, most seem to be left with having to make a similar decision. Do what is right in the eyes of society or follow your heart? The cast gives a strong performance overall, although the set and Lenny Leibowitz?s lack of direction does leave much to be imagined. Colin Pritchard gives a subtle, yet heartwarming performance as Gerald, while Markus Potter?s Harrison, although at times fumbling a line or two, remains consistent throughout. Katie Yamulla?s reprised role as Daphane is delivered with flair and comedic timing, playing an over the top caricature of a young, spoiled and attention-seeking socialite while Patrick James Lynch?s small role as the polite Thomas must not go unnoticed, for he commands the stage when present. As a whole, there is much to like about this production as well as much that needs work. Lack of direction and poor setting and costume design at times were major distractions. However, perhaps if it were a full production and run, these theatrical faults would be minimized and the true essence of the show would prevail, the elegant and genuine love story.
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