Review: Olivia’s Roses by Joanne de Simone

“The war to end all wars.”

12033186_1488258154808000_5926881307510641709_nThree brothers. Three wounds. The woman in the middle of it all. I am already committed to the story. Joanne de Simone’s Olivia’s Roses is a story that reveals the pathology of a family. Set at the end of World War II, three brothers return home: one with a bride, one with physical and emotional wounds, and the other filled with dreams.

Dennis Gleason directs this captivating cast on a simple set perfect for this complicated story. A story intertwined with love, deceit and confusion. The strong ensemble is absolutely riveting to watch on stage.  It’s always a good sign when the audience applauses at the end of each scene. Led and brilliantly played by Brad Brockman (CADE), he is brooding, flawed, and absolutely riveting to watch on stage. Kalen J. Hall’s (JUDE)  transitions within his character is breathtaking to watch. Byron Hagan (LUKE) is the romantic, artistic and sensitive dreamer who makes you want him to be happy. Ashley V. Harris (OLIVIA) flawlessly juggles her relationships with each son. I appreciated her complexities and her honesty in her performance. Greg Schuh (Rev. Holden) is the pragmatist who knows way too much and maybe doesn’t play too close to the vest.  Rounding out this cast is Amy Losi (Martha), the matriarch is who is shrouded in secrets.

Olivia’s Roses is playing as part of the Thespis Festival. There are two more performances so be sure to take a friend so you can squeeze their knees during some revealing moments.

Friday September 18 at 9 pm;
Sunday September 20 at 3 pm

Hudson Guild Theatre

441 W. 26th Street

Click HERE for more info.

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