I'm sure it is a playwright's dream to write a script so tight, so perfect, that every company--regardless of its means or abilities--that undertakes it is able to produce a show that perfectly reflects the playwright's intent. I would have stated that such a thing is impossible, but my confidence in that assertion is wavering this year.
Fitting, I suppose, that the cause for that wavering is Patrick Shanley's Doubt, performed this year in Michigan by BoarsHead, Detroit Repertory Theater, and Performance Network.
Early this season, Don Calamia and I agreed that we would personally see all three shows--a decision that came out of a discussion on whether so many viewings of the same show can exhaust an audience and whether they shouldn't be more spread out. Our plan has been to commit what would be at least a venial sin in a review--comparing the three shows.
This past weekend, while in the Detroit area to celebrate the Easter weekend, I saw Doubt at Performance Network, the final of the three downstate/mid-state organizations that were performing the show this season.
Note to self: When you go to Performance Network again (which you should--it was a beautiful space), leave extra time to find parking. Lots of extra time. And wear comfortable shoes.
So watch this space soon for more on those three shows. Don and I have to work out exactly how we're going to handle this. Once we do, you'll see more here.
I'll say this much, though: I was impressed with all three shows and never felt the slightest bit of fatigue at having to see the same show again. It's easy to see why this is a popular script and all three groups did justice to it.