The action is set in the living room of a home shared by three women: Marjorie (Sabrina Gore), Terry (Andrea Uzategui) and Patricia (Lucy Nunez). The intimate size of the Main Street Playhouse works as a real advantage in this graphic story as it places the brutality of the situation at hand squarely in the face of the audience. Daniel Nieves as the intruder masters the aspects of his character that are mentally and emotionally manipulative, and finds the mild moments of humor that help break the tension of the piece. In order for the rage and indignation of Marjorie to work later in the play, we need the early moments of her contact with Nieves to be more brutal, and for him to be more of a predator. It is a difficult line to walk in determining what the audience will bear, especially at the top of the show, but it needs to hit us harder. This is both an acting and directing issue that weakens the show slightly. Though Nieves over-reacts a bit to the poking he receives with a fireplace iron with too loud gasping, he really sails smoothly through the rest of the play. Somehow there is just enough of the requisite charm about his villainous portrayal that makes it believable that he has gotten away with this all before. Throughout it all is the uncertainty of what he will do or say next.
Gore handles the emotionally exhausting role of Marjorie surprisingly well. It is difficult to play the anger of the character while establishing that she is not by nature aggressive or bitter. While it is the situation that has driven her to behavior that lacks logic and humanity, she must remain essentially a sane and redeemable character. Lucy Nunez is good as Patricia, capturing the nature of a woman compelled by logic and problem solving. She wisely does not allow the character to become cold or unemotional. Andrea Uzategui as Terry is serviceable but misses by not playing her character as more frivolous or perky. These options would have balanced out the personalities and energy of the other two women, and made her second act revelation have more punch.
Extremities remains a powerful piece, and this is an admirable production of the play. However, perhaps because the subject matter has been handled in TV and film so much since then, the stakes need to be raised by the actors even more to make its point.
The other work of playwright and screenwriter William Mastrosimone includes the plays The Woolgatherer, Shivaree, Cat's Paw, The Afghan Women, Sleepwalk, and Nanawatai upon which the film The Beast is based. He also wrote Bang Bang You're Dead, which can be downloaded from the Internet and performed by students for free. Bang Bang You're Dead is toured by The Premiere American Touring Company with students from Actor's Playground School of Theatre in NJ. This company goes to middle schools, high schools, and universities to prevent violence.
Extremities will be appearing through August 14, 2011, at the Main Street Playhouse. The theater is located at 6766 Main Street in Miami Lakes, Florida (located directly across from Johnny Rocket's in the Shops at Main Street). The Main Street Players is the business name of the Community Theatre of Miami Lakes, Inc.. They share the Playhouse with the Town of Miami Lakes Cultural Affairs for community events, including book readings and shows for children. Their goal is to present quality entertainment to the community, and help educate local children in the arts with a children acting workshop. Their current space provides a flexible stage configuration with a 90-seat house. For tickets to future shows or information on their season, call 305- 558-3737 or contact them on the web at www.mainstreetplayers.com.