Backstage Review: ‘Quartet’ by Gothic North Productions
“Quartet” by Gothic North Productions
Can four friends overcome the challenges of the past and the reality of the present for one last performance?
Photos and Review by Dana Nollsch
What is Quartet?
In a way, “Quartet” is a coming-of-age play. Four aging opera singers find themselves in the same luxurious British retirement home. The same home that the composer Giuseppe Verdi bequeathed to become a retirement home for opera singers. These four have a history with each other, a rich and intriguing past indeed. Now, these four are challenged to do one last performance.
The retirement home is filled with their contemporaries, performers from the past, all missing the excitement of the stage. Each year the residents get together on Verdi’s birthday to perform for each other and relive the past.
Our four singers, Reggie (David Zybert), Jean (Debra Lynn Hull), Wilfred (Michael Peters), and Cissy (Barbara Biondo), contemplate a place in this celebration. This is the story the play follows as our heroes prepare for perhaps their one last performance together. They must stay strong as the memories of the past and the ravages of time stand in their way.
How did this production come to be?
David Zybert has this to say about how this production came to be.
“I have been an actor, director, and singer since the young age of six, so this marks my 60th year as an entertainer. Quartet is a labor of love. I have wanted to act with my three co-stars for many years. The depth of my respect for them is unbounded. Many thanks to everyone who made this show possible, and a special “couldn’t do it without you” to my wife, Claire Zybert.”
I found “Quartet” to be very funny and thought-provoking. There is an inevitability to age, one that we all must face but not until it is upon us. These four talented performers show us what is to be amid this realization.
The performers have such passion for the stage. This passion shows in their performances. Seeing them perform this play was very moving for me.
The intimate setting of Restless Artist Theater lends itself to the personal nature of the story.
Larry Seymour’s directing brings the elements together smoothly, drawing the audience into the story for an entertaining experience.
Why see it
If you are looking for an evening of entertaining live theater, you will not be disappointed with “Quartet.”
Be sure to bring someone to have a deep conversation with after the show.
Gothic North Theater is presenting its production of “Quartet” at Restless Artist Theater.
Quartet is a play by Ronald Harwood.
Director Larry Seymour
Reggie David Zybert
Jean Debra Lynn Hull
Wilfred Michael Peters
Cissy Barbara Biondo
Stage Manager Anika Schuass