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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In Tandem Finds Fun in 'Veronica's Position'

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In Tandem Theatre brilliantly executes Veronica's Position, a comedy about politics and principles set on the precipice of the final decade of the 20th century. The play is set in motion when a drama-queen actress (an Elizabeth Taylor-like character) is due to appear with a former husband (a Richard Burton-type character) in a production of Hedda Gabler debuting in Washington, D.C. The actress is currently dating a conservative Washington bureaucrat. Her assistant is seeing an artist in the vein of Robert Mapplethorpe.

Director Jane Flieller helps the ensemble to develop rich complexity. Tiffany Vance stars as the drama queen. The character is similar to Taylor in that she's a woman who loves the idea of love so much that she's been married countless times. T. Stacy Hicks plays her assistant with restless sarcasm. We know he's not entirely confident, but we also know there is good reason for his cautiousness. It's a remarkably nuanced performance for a minor role in a larger political comedy. Joe Fransee strikes a dynamic presence in the role of the Mapplethorpe figure.

The charismatic Steve Koehler stars as the conservative politician. Madison's Richard Ganoung plays the actress' ex-husband and current co-star. Ganoung's character is deeply attracted to the play's beautiful stage director. It's nice to see Libby Amato in the role of the passionate young director. Given the opportunity to play a major supporting role, she delivers a memorable performance.

In Tandem Theatre's production of Veronica's Position runs through May 20 at the Tenth Street Theatre, 628 N. 10th St. For ticket reservations, call 414-271-1371.