Theater Latte Da’s production of “Beautiful Thing” runs through March 18 at The Lab in Minneapolis. While some critics questioned the set for the show, and others thought the live singing on stage by Erin Schwab distracted more than it added to the production, in the end all agreed that this production, at its heart, was a “beautiful thing.”
Read on for excerpts of reviews; click on the links to read the full reviews.
It’s a tricky thing, falling in love–especially when you’re a teenage boy. And when you’re falling for your neighbor. And your neighbor also happens to be a teenage boy.
This complicated tug-of-war between fear and courage, denial and truth shapes the core of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing, currently being produced by Theater Latté Da at Minneapolis’s Lab Theater. Twin Cities newcomer–and Latté Da’s first-ever guest director–Jeremy B. Cohen directs the emotion-driven drama, and does an excellent job to ensure the script’s sincerity doesn’t get drowned out by stereotypes or exaggeration, both of which could easily have sunk the play into the realms of a hyper-hormonal teenage melodrama.
Given the national attention the Anoka-Hennepin School District has been receiving on the topic of gay bullying, the production is very timely – in spite of the fact that it was originally written in the 1990s… Ultimately, Cohen’s risks pay off. His fresh staging of the story of young gay love adds engaging elements that deepen its appeal – which is a beautiful thing.
It’s a wonderfully entertaining play with tangy characters, crackling dialogue and a heartfelt message… One might argue that with so much that’s chaotic in these characters’ lives, real love seems a particularly precious thing, and indeed that turns out to be the case. This play isn’t so much about gay teens who fall in love; it’s about loving people the way they are, and that’s a beautiful thing.
In the drab, featureless slabs of concrete that make up a south London housing project, there are but two manifestations of life: Sandra’s flourishing collection of green houseplants, and Jamie’s budding affection for his neighboring schoolmate, Ste… Johnson and Darrow find the innocent, halting charm of two boys discovering and reacting to their sexuality. It is simple and poignant… There is a still, small center in “Beautiful Thing,” which emerges ever so tenuously in Latté Da’s staging. It is the sweetest part of life.
Hvae you seen “Beautiful Thing?” If so, what did you think?