Clockwise from top left: Stevie Rice, Alan Sader, Andrew C. Boothby and Andrew Firda star in Richmond Triangle Players’ production of Bruce Ward’s “Lazarus Syndrome.” (Photo by John MacLellan)
The Acts of Faith Theatre Festival continues this week with homemade matzo ball soup and family baggage. Deep questions of faith and family will be examined, but their remedies will lie under a blanket of spritely comedy.
Richmond Triangle Players presents “Lazarus Syndrome,” a play that reminds us of the importance of appreciation, written by Bruce Ward, a writer, actor and AIDs educator who has lived with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for three decades.
Philip Crosby, RTP's managing director, says, “This play will cause the audience to embrace their loved ones a little tighter, and be grateful for the lives they are able to live.”
After receiving second place in the Kennedy Center’s VSA arts awards in 2007, this is only the second production of the play, which premiered in Washington, D.C., that year. Ward will be overseeing the new set of actors to make sure “the heart of the production is exactly the same,” says Crosby.
The intimate 80-person Scott's Addition theater will open the door to a realistic New York City apartment backdrop (with a full kitchen, but no half bath!). The audience will enter the home of a man they do not know, but who shares a story that holds an abundance of familial and relational similarities.
“Four of the best actors in Richmond,” says Crosby, will tell the tale of Elliott (Andrew Firda), a former concert pianist diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s, who struggles for answers for his survivorship, while his partner (Stevie Rice) embarks on a tour of “Fiddler on the Roof.” With the help of his quirky, Jewish father (Alan Sader) and brother (Andrew C. Boothby), Elliott’s story will move the audience to laughter, followed by a “Twilight Zone”-esque plot twist, and ending with inevitable self-examination.
A reduced-priced ticket for the preview of the 90-minute show will be offered for $18 on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. Opening night occurs the following day, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. Through March 19, tickets are $30 for Friday and Saturday night performances and $28 for Thursday night and Sunday 4 p.m. matinee performances. 1300 Altamont Ave., 346-8113 or rtriangle.org.