Act II Playhouse gets all dramatic with Theresa Rebeck’s MAURITIUS. A writer and producer for Law and Order: Criminal Intent and NYPD Blue, Rebeck, offers the tale of two sisters. After the loss of their shared mother, Jackie (Campbell O’Hare) and Mary (Julianna Zinkel) feel they are the deserving recipient of the main inheritance—a seemingly valuable stamp collection.
As the two struggle with each other and the place of the inheritance in their lives, they individually set to work out what to do with the items: two very rare and sought-after stamps from the island of Mauritius. The story unfolds as they receive “help” in many forms along the way from ambivalent antiques appraiser Philip (Brian McCann), wealthy stalking stamp collector Sterling (Stephen Novelli), and knowledgeable shyster Dennis (Jake Blouch).
Director David Bradley did his job very well, creating a show I really felt invested in. The first act is so true, so real—the part of life (and death) so many of us have had and hate to think about. This show captures the intricacies, the disparities, the differences that can divide and conquer a family.
O’Hare stole the show hands down. She was tremendous. I felt her heartache, her anger, her pain, and her hope. O’Hare WAS her character—real and believable—she had me rooting for Jackie throughout the show.
I abhorred the character Mary (Julianna Zinkel) which also means that Zinkel was amazing. McCann, Novelli, and Blouch had me guessing their true intentions and faltering between anger and happiness at their characters. MAURITIUS is a must see.
[Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA] October 25–November 20, 2016; act2.org.