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Violet Hour' raises interesting questions, but fails to escape pretension



chard Greenberg introduces the play's gimmick: a god-machine type printer that arrives inexplicably at the office and spews out pages of strange writing, all coming from the future.

At first, this tome from the future elicits wonder and laughs. But the "history" grows darker, mentioning those around Seavering as meeting fateful ends. Seavering struggles with whether there is anything he could or should do to undo the history unfolding before him.

Before that interesting question surfaces, however, the Carpenter Square Theatre production bogs down in heavy exposition and language that often feels like an exercise. Greenberg's characters never quite spring to life. It's difficult to invest in their outcomes.

The cast certainly gives it a go, headed by a poised Rodney Brazil as the earnest Seavering. This contrasts nicely against the tightly wound antics of Brett Young.

Addison Miller has good energy, but seems more a boyish wannabe writer than a passionate novelist with an ego. Michelle Ray looks stylishly period, but her high-pitched modulations don't help such a talky character. Tracey Jordan Esaw is likable and believable, but needs more flair to convince as a charismatic performer.

The production seems weighed down by the writer's own words, even though the question Greenberg asks is still a fascinating one.

"?Linda McDonald



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