by Elizabeth Devlin
The mind of a fifteen year-old girl is a dangerous place to tread, yet the Vital Theatre Company’s current production of “Full Bloom” by Suzanne Bradbeer navigates that landscape with confidence. Rightly so, for “Full Bloom” features a talented cast in which everyone brings likeability and depth to their character.
“Full Bloom” is about a fifteen year-old New Yorker coming to terms with a more complicated adult world than she has previously known. The play brings up a good number of issues that teenagers are often faced with: parental infidelity, divorce, their own changing bodies, questioning of role models, etc. That the play does not come off as a Lifetime movie of the week is a credit to the writing and the directing. Phoebe, the adolescent in question, deftly portrayed by Jennifer Blood, reacts to her shifting world not with rebellion but by retreating inward, to a place where her mother (a superb Jennifer Dorr White) cannot reach and where her new friend/love interest / neighbor Jesse (an awkwardly charming William Jackson Harper) can only skim the surface.
The show may bring up to many issues to adequately delve into any single one, and the ending leaves you feeling not that you understand Phoebe, but that you cannot understand her. However, the show is an overall success, intriguing and thought-provoking, with moments of humor and genuine tenderness.“Full Bloom” runs through April 1st at 8pm and April 2nd at 7pm at the Vital Theatre Company at The McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway, 4th floor at 76th Street. Tickets through Theatermania.com
According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.