Home > Irma Vep (Review) - thru July 19
Irma Vep (Review) - thru July 19

Short Description of Irma Vep (Review) - thru July 19

Thru July 19-The Mystery of Irma Vep – A Penny Dreadful (Review)

Fitzpatrick Main Stage

83 East Main Street, Stockbridge


Berkshire Theatre Group launched its 2014 season this week in much the same way it ended its 2013 season: with a fun and exciting gothic thriller, complete with lightening strikes, vampires (see the title of the play for the anagram) and an all around good time. “Irma Vep” is mystery and suspense and laughter, wrapped up nicely and packaged just like last season's closing mystery The Cat and the Canary was. But with every mystery comes twists, and the twists here are two spectacular actors by the name of Bill Bowers and Tom Hewitt.

The opening scene brings us to the Mandacrest Estate, home of Lord Edgar (Bill Bowers), an Egyptologist. The scenery here is crisp and perfect, but that is not surprising, because the Fitzpatrick Main Stage consistently has some of the best scenery we have ever seen. Lord Edgar's second wife is Lady Enid (Tom Hewitt). A picture of his first wife, Irma Vep, hangs over the mantle. What exactly happened to Irma, and are we to believe the story of her demise? Pictures begin to bleed, lightening strikes, people disappear, and rumors of vampire attacks abound....

Named a “Critics Pick of the Year”, we agree with that call. This work is pure Summertime fun. Although goth and funny and suspenseful in an entertaining way all on its own, Hewitt and Bowers are such powerful actors, they rise incrementally above and beyond what was expected of this work. The acting takes on a role of its own, bringing drama and intensity to a fun plot, and that is hard to do. Together, thru a series of quick-change sessions, our two main characters play eight roles—and dress in dresses and act as female impersonators for half of those roles. Blink, and you won't figure it out until after intermission. The changes occur that fast. What Tom Hewitt accomplishes with pure intensity, Bill Bowers accomplishes with expert delivery, for a pair that work absolutely splendidly together in drag and out, like a recipe you've always been afraid to try.

This show gets a double thumbs up. Go see it.

--Richard DiMaggio, PointAPlace.com (formerly didyouweekend.com)



by Charles Ludlam

directed by Aaron Mark


Bill Bowers

Tom Hewitt

Contact Information

Address: E Main St, Stockbridge, MA 01262

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