On Thursday, August 4, 2011, I was transported down south when I went to see "Tricks The Devil Taught Me" written and directed by Tony Georges at the Minetta Lane Theatre in NYC! Between the set and the terrific cast, At only 26 years old, Tony is making his Off-Broadway directorial and writing debut with this smart, suspenseful, and complicated show (yes, I need to go back for second viewing). With heart and humor dispersed throughout, Tony is making his mark!
There are some shows you can guess as to what is going to happen, but with "Tricks The Devil Taught Me," that is not the case. Tony keeps you guessing throughout the whole show and really makes you pay attention to everything that is happening whether it's the action on stage or something in the background.
Helping to bring Tony's words to life is an amazing cast led by the wonderful Beth Grant ("Sordid Lives," "Sordid Lives: The Series," "Pushing Daisies," "Little Miss Sunshine") and Peter Bradbury ("That Championship Season," "Mrs. Warren's Profession," HBO's "Boardwalk Empire"). Beth gave a powerfully mindblowing performance as "Betty." I really only knew Beth from watching her in "Sordid Lives" and "Sordid Lives: The Series," so I knew she was a great comedic actress. To get to see her in dramatic role such as this, is superior. Beth really caputred and emodied the character of "Betty" and brought me on "Betty's" journey. Beth has such stage presence that even if she wasn't speaking, she was still a central part of the action. Peter complimented Beth's performance wonderfully. He made me dislike his character "Don," but at the same time, kept me intrigued. Another central character was "Lorraine," played by Jodie Lynne McClintock ("United 93," "30 Rock"). With a beautiful singing voice and even greater acting skills, Jodie added much heart and humor to this show. Her presence is known. Rounding out the cast are two-time Tony Award Nominee and fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant Mary Testa as "Renee," Julie Jesneck as "Young Betty/Kim," TJ Linnard as "Jeremy/Young Don," and Desiree Rodriguez as "Elizabeth." Each one of these performers brought their own unique style to the role. Mary shined as she used her brilliant comedic characterization to bring "Renee" to life.
One of my favorite scenes in the play is when "Betty" and "Lorraine" are talking about the name "Nick" because there is a whole dialogue about the spelling of the name, which perfectly aligns with the meaning and creation behind the name of "Adaumbelle's Quest." In the show "Betty" is talking about spelling "Nick" N I C K, while "Lorraine" talks about spelling "Nick" K N I C K. It made me laugh so much because of the personal affiliation I have with situations like that. So, Thank You Tony for writing that moment into your show.
"Tricks The Devil Taught Me" is a show to see because of its brilliant cast and in depth script that reels you in and makes you focus throughout the whole show! I hope everyone will come see "Tricks The Devil Taught Me" because Tony is a new playwright who deserves the chance to have his work shown. If his debut is any indication, I think Tony is one playwright to keep your eye on!