Rating: 4 out of Fordyce (Perfect)
I go to hundreds of plays, shows, and movies every year and Friday night I found a treasure amid what is often a sea mediocre and unoriginal works. The Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea is now showing the world premiere of a work from a Michigan playwright called Gravity.
David MacGregor penned this work about a mysterious time in the life of Isaac Newton. This show takes place long after the apple falls and many years have past since he completed his most famous work, Principia.
It was a time when Newton was surrounded by jealous rivals. Then, a mysterious and amazingly bright widow enters his life. She understands his work, as well as his current experiment, an experiment that the history books say drove Newton to a breakdown.
MacGregor gets an A+ for a storyline that is crafted like a fine piece of art. Another A+ goes to director Guy Sanville. He took this fine work and brought it to the stage without missing even the smallest detail. From the brilliant costumes and the furniture to the laboratory set and the prism of light shining in a window, Sanville and his crew created the perfect environment for an outstanding cast to shine.
Among that cast is Will David Young as Sir Isaac’s rival Robert Hooke, an annoying fellow you will love to hate. There is also Rhiannon Ragland as Isaac’s cook and housekeeper. She plays her part well as the woman who is there for more than a paycheck. Michelle Mountain is beautiful, smart and alluring as Mrs. Cavendish, the widow who is very interested in Isaac.
Alex Leydenfrost is the glue in this cast as Sir Isaac Newton. He is just brilliant in the role; a role he told me in a post-show interview was not easy to prepare for.
When you get a team together like the one I saw Friday night at the world premiere of Gravity you cannot help but watch a show that gets a perfect 4 out of Fordyce.
This play runs through March 27. Don’t wait to get your tickets. When the word spreads about how good this show is, it WILL sell out. And I am sure that word will take this play to many other cities. So if you are not close enough for a trip to Chelsea, watch for this theatrical treasure at a quality theater near you.
P.S.: When you do go to Chelsea, if you arrive early and want some food, do what my companion and I do, try one of the great eateries there. This trip, we had sandwiches at Mike’s Deli on West Middle Street. It was to die for and the service was great!
Drop in and tell them Jim for MIentertainment sent you.