“The Making of a Great Moment” Has Many
Imagine devoting your life to a profession with 90% unemployment knowing that the chances are you will never own a house, have regular medical insurance, or build a reputation securing future employment through past successes. The life of an actor is being given a loving skewering in Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s “The Making of a Great Moment,” playing through Sunday, 7/2, at Chester Theatre Company. It is an intentional celebration of the actor and his quixotic dedication to his art and craft by the new Co-Producing Artistic Directors, husband and wife James Barry and Tara Franklin. Barry also directed this production.
“The Making of a Great Moment” is a play about two Canadian actors (Bill Bowers & Esther Williamson) bicycling through New England as the Victorian Canadian Bicycle Theatre Company presenting a play documenting great moments in history at community centers throughout New Hampshire.
The two actors deal with inadequate technical conditions, a limiting script, and their own anxieties on the road. Terry is consumed with jealousy as news of fellow actors Quincy & Binder are enjoying great success in Toronto with a play called “Exquisite Math” when he feels after his resume of 407 shows, he is due. The wild-eyed Mona wants to keep working and improving their play with improv. “All great directors love to have their work improved upon.”
The play within the play skips blithely along, introducing quick set-ups and punch lines moving from great moment to great moment quickly and funnily. They present the invention of the wheel, Appendictus, the first surgeon, and the invention of the kiss. The play itself skips along and gives us off-stage events like changing a tire, building a tandem bike with duct tape, and the couple’s getting close in a sleeping bag.
Barry has great fun with the script and embraces the anything-for-a-laugh spirit that the author has created, even employing the tech crew into wild celebrations as the show dance breaks to the Canadian soundtrack of Rush, Bachman Turner Overdrive, and KD Lang.
There is much laughter at the absurdity of the circumstances and the lengths these two actors will go to fulfill their soul’s desire to reach out and communicate. You would be a churl not to be moved by such a heart. A great moment indeed.
“The Making of a Great Moment”: Chester Theater. 413-354-7770 www.chestertheatre.org