Little Lake Theater's Accomplice | Theater | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Little Lake Theater's Accomplice 

It pushes the outermost boundaries of the audience's "willing suspension of disbelief."

A twist makes a martini better. And a twist makes a play better.

Accomplice, by Rupert Holmes, is the current offering at Little Lake Theatre, and it's crammed full of twists.

Too many, perhaps.

There are so many twists, in fact, that it's virtually impossible to describe the plot without giving them away. But it's safe to say that this thriller begins with two British couples meeting for a weekend in the country. And you'll never believe where that journey ends.

Along the way, there are some clever tricks, but by two hours in, the plot is beyond convoluted. It pushes the outermost boundaries of the audience's "willing suspension of disbelief." 

On the plus side, the plot is so outrageous that no one will be able to figure out what's going to happen next. Also in the "plus column," Accomplice pokes fun at the four-actor-two-act-four-scene thriller, and is filled with inside jokes that theater folks will love.

The small cast consists of Charles Brown, Tammy Tsai, Dan Bisbee and Deborah Bender. What a hard-working and tireless ensemble! They all do an admirable job, with Bisbee as a standout. Bender has little to do in Act I, but she blossoms in Act II. Again, it's impossible to say much more without ruining the show for future audiences. I can say that this show is so demanding (and physically exhausting) that the program also lists two understudies — Paul DelGatto and Julie Crede.

Kudos to director Jena Oberg for making sense of this script. I give her points for being able to understand this complex script on the page — let alone the ability to bring it to the stage.

And hats off to designer Martha Bell and technical director Michael Hornak for creating some impressive special effects that look quite believable. The set is simple, but manages to meet all the quickly changing demands of the play.

Twists are good. But there can be too much of a good thing. In the case of the Accomplice script, less would have been so much more.



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