Tue April 14, 2009
Something Intangible, Arden Theatre
There's usually one sibling who carries everyone's baggage. The family Bruce Graham imagines In Something Intangible at the Arden Theatre now shows the burdens creativity inflicts. Two brothers, one an animator, the other an accountant, live in Hollywood in the 1940s. Something Intangible is the Arden's 30th world premiere.
It's loosely very loosely based on Walt & Roy Disney. If you miss it, you'll be sorry. Scottt Greer who plays the longsuffering brother Dale, is so reigned in, so in tune to the complexities of his character his interpretation deserves another Barrymore. Ian Merrill Peakes play Tony the genius animator whose enthusiasms are a roller?coaster. But Tony can't stay happy long because no matter what he creates, there's always something. Maybe he should see the psychoanalyst Sonia Feldman whom Dale talks to throughout this brilliant play. Feldman is sympathetically played by Sally Mercer. Doug Hara plays Leo the gifted cartoonist, upon whom will be dished insults and torments for Graham's lines are? true to the time and the place, which is coarse and racist and homophobic. They are also wry and comic and touchingly believable. Graham often writes about Philadelphia and there's a Philly connection here too. Tony's newest project is the movie with classical? music, Grandioso--or Fantasia!--which the Philadelphia Orchestra and Stokowski made.? Here a character named von Meyerhoff conducts and the actor Walter Charles plays him terrifically with a sly accent. He also takes the part of the studio chief, Bartelli. The music used is mostly not Fantasia. The set is suave worthy of a Disney.? Terry Nolan directs. Siblings are a great study. Bruce Graham doesn't have any but he imagines them well in Something Intangible at the Arden through June 7.