Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Saintly Entertainment

True artistry can be a joy to watch. When an artist’s passion and drive comes through on stage, no matter the material, the performance has an added boost of emotion and drive. In Gertrude Stein SAINTS!, it’s evident that every single artist on stage has so much passion for their project. Using the text of the renowned Gertude Stein, we watch an enthusiastic ensemble of thirteen young performers sing, dance, and play through Stein’s vision.
Taking the words of Gertrude Stein, drawing inspiration from the libretto of Four Saints in Three Acts, Saints and Singing, and “The Gradual Making of The Making of Americans”, members of the ensemble composed and set music to bring Stein to life. With no clear plot, the energetic kids of Carnegie Mellon evoke dynamic and vitality from moment to moment all while looking like the most attractive traveling Gap ad. Using musical stylings from rap to country, pop to gospel, the entire stage is filled with the voices of saints. What SAINTS lacks in story, it makes up for in performance. The blend within the cast is near seamless, with standout performances coming from Nathan Salstone, Molly Griggs, and Chante Adams.
Once the ball gets rolling, director Michelle Sutherland knows how to keep the audience captivated and engaged. Sutherland is able to showcase her ensemble and highlight their numerous talents. With Diego Montoya serving as both costume and scenic designer, Montoya’s visual world is colorful iconic, and pleasing to the eye.
If you weren’t able to follow Gertrude Stein SAINTS!, you certainly left with a great appreciation for the artstis who made the work possible. If nothing else, SAINTS is a triumphant of a production.