Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
The Member of the Wedding
The Member of the Wedding focuses on Frankie Addams. A young girl in her "tween" years, Frankie has a robust personality and tends to be fanciful. Keeping her in check is the housekeeper, Berenice. Berenice acts as a surrogate mother to Frankie and stands by her even when she is at her most difficult.
This production is filled with outstanding performances. Nathalie Nicole Paulding (Frankie) delivers an emotionally and physically charged performance. She portrays her character's volatility in a way that is almost frightening. She connects incredibly well with Lynda Gravátt (Berenice) who shows great presence without overwhelming her fellow actors. Ms. Gravátt's dignified portrayal is very real and quite entertaining. Adding to these fine performances is Alexander L. Lange (John Henry). A fourth-grader at the Key School in Annapolis, Maryland, young Mr. Lange provides some wonderful moments.
The authentic-looking set was designed by John Lee Beatty. It replicates the backyard of a small house. The set pieces sit on a turntable which rotates to reveal a very lived-in kitchen. The lighting by Dennis Parichy rounds out the picture, and the costumes by Jennifer von Mayrhauser communicate each character's personality and situation.
Ford's Theatre's production of The Member of the Wedding should be on every Washingtonian's must-see list. It is definitely a highlight of the season. The Member of the Wedding runs through February 27th.
Jarvis Addams: Lee Aaron Rosen