This coming weekend is the last chance to see The Quotidian Theatre Company's productions of Afterplay by Brian Friel and A Little Trick by Anton Chekhov. Performances are 8:00 p.m. August 17 and 18 and 2:00 p.m. August 18 and 19.
"What a wonderful little gem the Quotidian Theatre Company of Bethesda is. The vignette of A Little Trick was an all-around joy to watch. Jonathan Feuer as Ivan captivates your attention right off, and lends a mesmerizing performance. Sara Dabney Tisdale’s Nadya is incandescent and captivating. Concert violinist Christine Kharazian, as the wind, personifies the Russian winter and the characters’ emotional plight. Director Stephanie Mumford has led her team to generate not only “a little trick” but a mesmerizing, little slice of life. As in A Little Trick, the actors are very strong and captivating in Afterplay. The focus of the play is on the dialogue and discussion reactions, and both Osherow and Dubov provide engaging and outstanding performances for Director Jack Sbarbori" - Connie Morris, DC Metro Theater Arts
"Sbarbori’s direction (of Afterplay) and the acting—David Dubov as Andrey and Michele Osherow as Sonya—is impeccable, bright and clean, performed with much elegance and sensitivity to the ebb and flow of the art of conversation, with things said and unsaid. Words, gestures and silences are finely handled, down to the nuance. The image-stories the actors evoke are marbled with gentle humor and not without the painful regret that can characterize a life half-lived. Dubov displays understated comedic talent in a charming and quirky portrayal of Andrey.
Osherow distinguishes Sonya with spirit and fortitude, and her gradual, understated transformation from assured administrator of her family’s estate to the bared, broken down prisoner to neglected passion is remarkable.
Preceding Afterplay is the short A Little Trick, based on a Chekhov story and directed by Stephanie Mumford. A Little Trick is a narrated memory play told from the point of view of a young man, Ivan, about a singular season spent with Nadya, an impressible young woman who he may have loved in his youth. Jonathan Feuer gives an assertive portrayal as the diffident Ivan... Sara Dabney Tisdale’s almost wordless performance as the painfully smitten Nadya makes the piece special. She must convey Nadya’s subtext in reaction to Feuer’s monologue, and does so ably, through movement and facial expression. John Decker’s set design for A Little Trick is imaginative and lively, evoking a wintry birch forest and a hilltop with a scarlet sleigh displayed for the audience like a totem idol. A Little Trick also features the vibrant strings of Christine Kharazian’s violin. - Roy Maurer, DC Theatre Scene
(In A Little Trick) "Tisdale and Feuer work beautifully together as the terrified Nadya and the proud and protective Ivan. As she nearly faints with fear, he whispers his love to her, causing her to want to take to the icehill again and again. The third character is the Wind (Christine Kharazian), who does not speak but plays Vivaldi's "Winter" from "The Four Seasons" on the violin. Stephanie Mumford's direction of this poetic, suggestive piece is deft and subtle, emphasizing its elusive nature as a play about perception and deception. Brian Friel's Afterplay imagines what it would be like if two characters in two of Chekhov's dramas met in a whole new setting. Sbarbori's sensitive direction, Osherow's and Dubov's talent and Friel's quirky sense of humor flourish in this theatrical gem." - Barbara Mackay, Washington Examiner