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Twitter review in 140 characters or less?: Hawthorne's morality tale tries to find life on stage -- and almost does -- but the book is better.
Thoughts on leaving the parking lot?: I admire -- hey, there's another "A" -- what Playhouse on Park is trying to become, with the focus on professional work. That said, the important questions then become, "Is this production compelling drama?" Does it tell the story clearly, and did it engage me in a way that newly informed my point of view on the situation, the characters, and the world in which they lived? In a contemporary world where we are inundated with stories of infidelity, extramarital sex and casual hook ups, "The Scarlet Letter" forces us to take a look at the nature of compelling physical and emotional attraction that breaks the boundaries of what was acceptable in the 1650's society of early New England, but by today's standards looks almost admirable.
While Hester is condemned and degraded by her society for having an extramarital affair and a child out of wedlock, she is unwavering in her faithfulness to her lover and her child's father. The real value of this production, as I see it, is that we are compelled to examine not only human failings, but human values. The real value of the production is that perhaps it forces us to take a second look at our own values. I have heard many a soccer mom tell their children today, "Good choices lead to good lives." If those moms want to teach their children about choices, we need more productions like "The Scarlet Letter" to show them that they are consequences to choices of all kinds. In choosing this production the Playhouse on Park has made a daring choice and taken a startling risk, especially in today's economy. Get everything you need from local restaurants, bars, clubs, music, family events and more.


One of the most noticeable themes within The Scarlet Letter is sin and knowledge about life and humanity. Rizzo that the play falls short of the book, but they are different mediums and different art forms all together. If there is a weakness in the play's book, it is not in its faithfulness to the novel, but in the fact that it points only briefly to the fact that Hester's husband has been presumed dead for TWO YEARS before she commits this "betrayal". There is a lot of similarity to the story of Adam and Eve, who were banished from the Garden of Eden for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
That works just swell for Shakespeare -- who was writing for the stage to begin with -- but less so here with an 19th century novel which is another thing altogether, In a way, the adaptation -- by Stuart Vaughan an Marie Kreutziger -- is a little, too, faithful. It makes no more sense to compare them then it does to compare a film version of a novel to a theatrical production. I wonder how did he not notice the perfectly period costumes designed by Martin Thaler that transported us seamlessly back to the 17th century Boston. In Directing this Stuart Vaughan has placed a value on the classics that one hopes continues to inspire younger generations to leave their ipads behind for an evening and enter a world that is both ephemeral and powerful. The experience of Hester and Dimmesdale is similar because in both cases, sin results in eviction and agony. While some scenes work well, others are just stiff and dull.But Playhouse deserves an A, and not just a scarlet one, for effort.


For Hester, the scarlet letter allowed her to begin thinking for herself and act more boldly, which was something that other women were condemned to do.
This theater is seriously undertaking a wide range of projects, several of then quite ambitious -- hey there's an "A" -- and trying to bring the level of professionalism up. In this case, it has brought a distinguished director of the American stage, Stuart Vaughan to town. Vaughan stages the show simply and well and trusts Hawthorne and his actors.Does the trust pay off? They fail to see that sinfulness can lead to personal growth, kindness, and care – even though it is the opposite to what society's standards are.The Scarlet Letter is set in the 17th century, puritanical, New England colony of Massachusetts. The character's sin, shame, and guilt are clearly seen after the fact that they live in a strict Puritanical society, which is unable and unwilling to forgive sin, especially Hester. It is ironic that Reverend Dimmesdale is Hester's partner in adultry.Another theme is evil, and the nature of immortality and malevolence.
There is a lot of discussion about the identity of the "Black Man," (an embodiment of evil) among the characters.



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