Looking for a good, local production in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, last night I attended a performance of "Discretion," a nonlinear, three-person play produced by Roueche's Main Street Theater Company.
Read more stories on this subject in our Spoleto topic page.Performing at PURE Theatre's Lance Hall, Discretion is an exploration of fidelity, passion, and commitment between a husband and wife in a long-term marriage, Claire and Phillip. The couple have a seemingly normal, healthy relationship until Richard, a young, strapping coworker of Claire's steps in, and charms a hole into the marriage.
Quaint Lance Hall serves as the perfect venue for such an intimate piece. The entire play takes places in Claire and Phillip's apartment, aside from one scene on Richard's balcony. It's a cozy, Pottery Barn-esque scene, with a white couch, overstuffed brown leather chair, and delicate lamps on each end table. A seemingly perfect scene for a seemingly perfect marriage, right?
The first half of the play is intermittent flashbacks between the past and present time in the play. You see the sexual tension build between Claire and Richard, and then the apprehensions of a concerned husband appear in Phillip. Eventually, questions arise, passions mount, and a husband and wife are forced to reevaluate their commitment to each other.
Unfortunately, I failed to see any chemistry between the hot young Richard (played by local actor, Boogie Dabney) and the unintentional cougar Claire (also played by local actress, Pam Galle). Mark Landis, playing as Phillip, perfectly portrays the doting, loving and caring husband that Claire deserves. Landis and Galle's chemistry as a loving married couple was much more convincing than the seeemingly forced connection between Dabney and Galle.
There is also a lot of wine-drinking. A lot. By the actors on stage (and by the audience! Drinks can be purchased before the play begins).
Despite a few line slip-ups and the bland connection between Galle and Dabney, "Discretion" is an extremely well-written and produced piece that leaves you feeling....well, awkward and uncomfortable. And rightfully so. The situations, conversations, and feelings portrayed in Discretion accurately depict what it would be like to ask your spouse, "Are you in love with someone else?" Which sounds like it would be pretty damn awful, if you ask me. Discretion raises deep questions and conversations about fidelity, marriage, friendship, and ultimately, what it is like to really 'love' someone. Rather than throw a dramatic mess of soap-opera proportions in your face, Discretion leaves you thinking and feeling about the decisions the characters make, and ultimately, what kind of decision you would make in those situations yourself.
Discretion will be showing several more times throughout the festival, so don't fret if one performance sells out (Lance Hall seating is quite limited). Discretion will be shown June 5th at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., June 6th, 8th, and 11th at 4 p.m., June 7th at 6 p.m., and June 10th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $19 and are available online here or at the Piccolo Spoleto Box office at 180 Meeting St. or the Visitors Center.