Good behavior

Prisoners & Criminals

Written and Performed by Jarret Wright
Directed by Salvatore Destro
The Duplex
61 Christopher St.
Equity showcase (closes June 9; call 255-5438 for schedule)
Review by Doug DeVita

There is something about a performer writing a one-man show for himself that smacks of an actorly narcissistic self-involvement. "Look at me! Look at what I can do!" But when the performer in question has the ability displayed by Jarret Wright in his recent one-man show Prisoners & Criminals, all preconceived notions fly out the window and one just sits back with a breathless "wow!" of admiration.

Through seven distinct characters, and in one hour and fifteen minutes, Wright creates a vivid world of slightly off-kilter human beings that in some way or another are all prisoners or criminals in any and all senses of the words. He is a better performer than writer; and some of the portraits are a little too long and a little too obvious as written, but all were acted with a breathtaking clarity and a total immersion in the character that preclude any show-offy tendencies, revealing a consummate actor in complete control of his considerable powers.

Salvatore Destro guided Wright with an invisible but sure hand (that is meant as a compliment), although the endless costume and makeup changes in the dark between scenes interrupted the flow of the evening: wouldn't it be just as intriguing to watch as Wright transforms himself from character to character?

Do try to catch this show, if only to witness the remarkable abilities of Jarret Wright, an actor who not only has the gall to showcase himself, but who also has the talent, and the humility, to deliver.

Box Score:

Writing: 1
Directing: 1
Acting: 2
Sets: N/A
Costumes: 2
Lighting/Sound: 1

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Copyright 2001 Doug DeVita