Edge

“Tom Walker” transforms old tale into superb theatre old tale into superb theatre

***

From beginning to end, New Theatre’s complex fable of a man who sells his soul to the devil, makes one contemplate the aspects of life that are conflicted with greed and passion.

Hearing the live violin music helps to place the audience in the timely setting of the 18th century. “Tom Walker,” written by John Strand, stars a middle-aged man, played by Stephen S. Neal, who allows his desire for riches to overpower him.

This leads to a deal with an “alleged” black Lucifer. As Lucious Smith (AKA the devil) says himself, in a role masterfully played by Robert Strain, “the devil dwells in every man’s heart,” and this play follows that decree and then some.

The universality of the title character, Tom Walker, helps swindle the audience into a plot that appears sinfully predictable, but, of course, is not. Lisa Morgan delights the audience in dual roles as the love interests in Tom Walker’s life. One lover is a crude, miserly woman, and the other, a cherished asset to his life. Tom’s initial wife seems to fall straight from the lines of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” with a cross-pollination of the Bible’s Book of Job.

“Death makes a man think,” and so does this slyly told tale of mirth and avidity. One might find it difficult to imagine being corrupted by a passion for riches, and the audience clearly beholds this conviction in Tom Walker as a character.

It is almost painful to watch this flaw consume him so far into the play, as Walker himself describes: “All my gold I’d give back to purchase my poverty.” A small cast of characters, including a stand-out performance by Tara Reid, as the narrator Cora, and Ken Clement and David Perez-Ribada, who play several roles, help round out this study of the life of an alcoholic, middle-aged fiddler with tight-knit sufficiency.

This is the recreation of a “legend” that goes beneath the surface, to entertain and instruct individuals who wished to be moved emotionally. “This land is full of Tom Walkers,” is an excerpt that cannot possess more truth.

“Tom Walker” plays through September 15, 2002 at the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Call (305) 443-5909 for more information.

Josh Caraballo can be reached at email4josh@aol.com.

September 10, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.