Chrysalis an emotionally moving event
By BOB ROSE
Special to The Post-Star
GLENS FALLS ---- Gilles Chiasson's musical play, "Chrysalis," having its world premiere with the Adirondack Theatre Festival through July 21 at the former Woolworth's building, is a powerful portrayal of a dysfunctional family coming to grips with reality on Christmas Eve.
For those who enjoy serious drama, it is not to be missed.
It is a compelling story of a father, mother and three siblings who really love each other, but their conflicting hopes and dreams keep them from expressing or accepting that love. The harder they try, the less they succeed.
The story unfolds through moving portrayals by Jim Poulos as the younger son, Chris, a photographer living in Los Angeles and home for Christmas; by James Stanek, his brother who writes greeting card verses and seems far more successful, though it he is really just more respectable; and by Sheri Sanders as their sister who's currently engrossed in the feminist movement.
Equally fine performances are given by Robert DuSold as the father; by Carolann Page as the mother; and by Elizabeth Bauer as Mea, Chris's love interest for the moment.
The cast is convincing in every word and movement, as their characters' relationships develop throughout the evening. Most of the dialogue is sung, and each cast member is adept at expressing both the ideas and feelings of his or her character through song. An initial distraction soon fades, as one quickly adapts to the unfamiliar conversational technique.
Two of the more powerful songs are the sister's "Waiting for a Savior" and the brother and Chris's "Empty Hands."
Music is provided by a skilled combo, and James Noone's exciting set design is both functional and artistic. In fact, all elements work well together in this most unusual stage presentation.
It becomes impossible to watch without becoming emotionally involved. In brief, "Chrysalis" is a great show and a very special treat for our city.