Sometimes A WALK IN THE WOODS is exactly what you need to be reminded that theatre can showcase some dynamic performances while also offering some talking points that were as relevant in 1988 when it first premiered as it is today.
Peace, nuclear disarmament, and high level political negotiations are no stranger to our current news cycle, and this play explores the delicate dance that is the negotiation process.
Both Soviet negotiator Andrey Botvinnik (David Ellenstein) and American negotiator John Honeyman (J. Todd Adams) want the same thing; namely for them to find a way for their countries to negotiate and find a way towards peace. It’s just Ellenstein as the more seasoned of the negotiators knows that even the appearance of successful conversations may be the most productive thing they can do. Adams’ John is less experienced and therefore more earnestly naive on the actual impact these talks will bring.
Andrey is the more gregarious of the two and Ellenstein’s performance is fun it is also genuine and unfussy. Adam’s more formal and idealistic John might not be written as nuanced as Andrey, but he finds a way to imbue the role with interesting shades of character. Though their personalities may not have naturally led them to friendship, they both share a frustration of the political games each of the superpowers play.
A WALK IN THE WOODS is playing at North Coast repertory Theatre through June 30th. For ticket and show information go to www.northccoastrep.org