Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare struck gold when they decided to produce Sam and Carol: A Play Where Everything Is True.
The two-actor tour-de-force is Richmond author and playwright David Robbins’ loving tribute to his parents, Sam and Carol.
The show begins in 1995 and quickly moves backward in time to 1942 when Sam and Carol met while serving their country during World War II. But it’s not Sam and Carol that tell their story. Their life is chronicled through the voices of others, everyone from their children to a maid in a Las Vegas casino. Each character vignette provides a window into the couple’s individual personalities as well as a peak into the world around them. We see their strengths as well as their quirks alongside societal pressures of the times.
Robbins digs deep into his soul and presents an account of his parent’s lives that is humorous, honest, and extremely touching. It will definitely pull you into the moment emotionally.
It takes two very talented actors to create more than twenty characters and Robbins found that expertise in Nicklas Aliff and Eva DeVirgilis. The two are absolutely mesmerizing as they shuffle from character to character. There are no fancy sets. There are no massive costume changes. Just good acting and fascinating content. (If you were lucky, you saw DeVirgilis work a similar magic for audiences in The Search for Sign’s of Intelligent Life in the Universe, also from Henley Street.)
The show relies entirely on Aliff and DeVirgilis’ ability to create believable, endearing characters of various ages and backgrounds. And that’s exactly what they do and they do it with perfection.
I’m calling Sam and Carol a must-see. The show runs through April 25 at Gottwald Playhouse at Richmond CenterStage. Click here for tickets and showtimes.