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
  • HurricaneSports

It wasn’t long ago when the Miami Hurricanes’ Class of 2020 included the top three rising senior pro ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship schedule is set. The No. 4 seed Miami Hurricanes ...

The first regular season of Gino DiMare’s head-coaching era ended Saturday at Mark Light Field. But ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ hopes for hosting an NCAA regional were damaged a bit on Friday night by a 12- ...

It took a long time for Dewan Hernandez to reach a point of acceptance for what happened to his juni ...

The University of Miami is shaping the future of education by using innovative approaches that drive ...

Six short films created by University of Miami film students will be screened in Los Angeles this we ...

Researchers from 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries, hosted by the Institute for the Advanced ...

Two University of Miami a cappella groups, Tufaan and BisCaydence, celebrated big wins in different ...

After Alabama’s governor signed into law the most-stringent anti-abortion bill in the nation, UM exp ...

The Canes are the top team in Pool D in Durham, joined by No. 5 North Carolina and No. 9 Virginia. ...

The matchups are set for the NCAA Singles Championship and NCAA Doubles Championship at the USTA Nat ...

Adria Soriano Barrera begins competition in the singles draw Monday at 5 p.m. with a contest against ...

Chris McMahon struck out six over five shutout innings to earn his first win since April 6. ...

Miami's Second Varsity Four earned a bronze medal at the 2019 ACC Rowing Championships Saturday ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.