For me, the sign of good theater is a show that makes you laugh, makes you cry and most all, makes you think. Annapurna, playing at TheaterWorks now until November 9th, takes care of all of that. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the show at Uncorked and then to also attend the full performance on opening night. Four days later and I still can’t stop thinking about it.
Uncorked is always held the Thursday evening before opening night and is a chance for theater lovers to get a sneak peek (with wine!) at the creative process of putting on a play, complete with a question and answer portion with the director. As a guest of their last technical rehearsal, it’s a real treat to see all of the people involved and how much work goes into a single show. Those in attendance were able to watch the first few scenes of the play, and the revisions that go into it with lighting, costumes, sound and dialogue. There is a certain effortlessness about live theater and to see how tedious the rehearsal process is and how much must be memorized at a drop off a hat is incredibly impressive.
The following evening, with my curiosity completely piqued, I attended opening night and was not disappointed in the least. Annapurna, written by Sharr White, directed by Rob Ruggiero and starring Debra Jo Rupp (That ‘70s Show) and Vasili Bogazianos (All My Children) is the story of Emma and her ex-husband of 20 years, Ulysses. Taking place entirely in a grungy trailer in the mountains of Colorado, their reunion is both happy and sad, proving that time and distance mean nothing when it comes to love. I don’t want to give too much away, but after experiencing the full gamut of emotions during this production I couldn’t recommend seeing it more. Run, don’t walk to the next show!
For showtimes and ticket prices, please visit theaterworkshartford.org.