Review: Shakespeare & Company opens its 2018 Summer Season with Morning After Grace

Angelica Potter

  • Boston Theatre Critic

Shakespeare & Company begins its season with the New England Premiere of Morning After Grace by Cary Crim. Directed by Regge Life, this new comedy explores the themes of loss, of love and of second chances. Crim carefully constructs a play that tackles some heavy subjects displaying the full extent of human emotions and the need for acceptance and love. What makes this play enjoyable to audiences is how Crim pairs very raw and intense moments with those of realistic and relatable humor. Life and his cast authentically invite the audience to journey with them on the path to recovery and to discover how to be truthful to themselves.

Steven Barkhimer, Kevin Vavasseur, and Corinna May. Photography by EKRWCREATIVE

Steven Barkhimer, Kevin Vavasseur, and Corinna May. Photography by EKRWCREATIVE

Steven Barkhimer plays Angus, a man struggling with grief and betrayal. When Abigail, played by Corinna May, meets him at a funeral the pair silently wonder if a second chance at love is possible. Ollie, played by Kevin Vavasseur, is struggling with who he really is and with the help of his new friends is able to face his fears and find his way to happiness. This trio of talented actors convincingly bring these characters to life. Their commitment to showing every flaw, every fault and every fear made them all the more relatable for the audience who truly embraced the characters being portrayed. The chemistry never seemed forced and made it easy for the audience to believe the honest human connections we saw being made in front of us.

The design team paid great attention to all the details within this production. From the functional set design by Patrick Brennan, to the costume design by Stella Schwartz, the lighting design by James W. Bilnoski and sound design by Iain Fisher. Each of these elements blended nicely together to create a cohesive picture.

While the audience laughed aloud throughout, there were also touching, thought-provoking moments that reminded us just how much real life was being reflected within the play. It was certainly a strong start to what is looking to be another wonderful season at Shakespeare & Company. ©

Morning after Grace plays through July 15th in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at the Shakespeare & Company campus located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. Tickets and more information about this play as well as Shakespeare & Company’s full season can be found at or by calling the box office at 413-637-3353.

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