Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast

EchoesUrbanite Theatre
William S. Oser | Season Schedule

Also see Bill's review of Evita

Mari Vial Golden and Kate Berg
Photo by Dylan Jon Wade Cox
Urbanite Theatre is presenting Henry Naylor's Echoes in its season devoted to two-character pieces. Tillie, a Victorian era Englishwoman, ventures to India where she finds the pool of marriageable men not to her tastes. Samira is of Muslim decent, living in present day England and facing the same predicament, so she ventures to East Anglia and the kuffar population. Both find themselves in cultures they are ill equipped to understand and in side by side monologues they tell their tales. Harrowing is my choice of words to describe this play.

Kate Berg is physically ideal to play Tillie, blonde hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, beautiful in the way a Victorian young lady was beautiful. With the aid of an extremely well written piece, she is totally believable as she lives the horrors of being in an aggressive male-dominated world. Mari Vial-Golden plays Samira, also physically perfect for her role. She is equally vivid relating parallel horrors in more modern times. The level of acting, always strong at Urbanite, is especially strong in Echoes..

Brendan Ragan does a superb job of directing, drawing these incredible performances from his cast, making a play that could be stagnant anything but. Although the technical elements are not the most vital parts of this production, all do contribute to its overall excellence. Ryan E. Finzelber contributes scenic and lighting design, the lighting in particular helping to bring the parallel stories to life. Costumes by Alison Gensmer perfectly define the characters. Sound design by Daniel Kelly is effective.

The mission of Urbanite Theatre is provocative theater and with this play they have one of their strongest productions ever.

Urbanite Theatre presents Echoes through December 17, 2017 at 1487 2nd St. Sarasota. Visit for more information.

Tillie: Kate Berg
Samira: Mari Vial-Golden*
*=Member of Actors' Equity Association