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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Birds (12 Peers Theater)



When you hear the title The Birds, the classic film by famed director Alfred Hitchcock has to come to mind. Based on the short story by Daphne du Maurier the classic tale has been modernized by an adaptation by Conor McPherson. While this modern entry does differ from the source, it is still an interesting and unsettling preview into the spiraling mental state within an apocalyptic state.

When I heard that local stage production company 12 Peers Theater was performing their interpretation of this classic tale, I was sold. I had to see it. While I knew the minimalist cast would create a story much different than the Hitchcock classic, the overall tension and atmosphere of seclusion and isolation from the turmoil outside would have to exist; and it did.

While nothing remotely similar to the Hitchcock classic on first glance, there is a darkness that exists in the modern Hell. Directed for the stage by Vince Ventura, the three-person cast of Gayle Pazerski (Diane), Nick Mitchell (Nat) and Sara Ashley Fisher (Julia) have tremendous chemistry in this dialog driven trip into the dark world of the end times (#birdpocalypse).

Backed by a tremendous soundscape and an impressive combination of setting and lighting, the play holds your attention throughout, and pulls you into the tumultuous relationships within a sanctuary full of fear, love, and jealousy. In the end, this 12 Peers Theater production is well worth the trip into Pittsburgh to see; and with only four shows remaining (Thursday, August 18 through Sunday, August 21), time is running out. If interested, the production can be seen at the Studio Theatre at the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning (in the basement) and more information can be found at their website (http://www.12peerstheater.org). If like me, you are a fan of The Birds, this is a must see.

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