Under the direction of possibly the most imaginative director working Off-Broadway today, Joe Tantalo, Godlight has blazed a unique trail by being both highly faithful to their source material while doing so with little more than piercing intelligence, and highly inventive lighting and sound design...The show is a revelation. Less a battle between cruel prison overseers and a free-spirited man refusing to be broken, this fiercely directed, intense play, with Maruti Evans providing powerful lighting design, becomes a battle between man and God.
Now that’s a test of ingenuity: How do you translate COOL HAND LUKE, which takes place on a Florida chain gang, to the stage with no set or props? This kind of challenge is catnip to Godlight...the physical setting is impressively rendered...Tantalo and his team are creating a recognizable signature style, which is more than can be said of many bigger, wealthier companies.
Once again, the staging is the star in this Godlight production...But the strong acting, and expert unique staging, will keep you chained to your seats.
The talented people at Godlight Theatre Company don’t merely adapt novels to the stage – they take a book, boil it down to its essence, and reimagine it in strikingly theatrical terms...director Joe Tantalo and his team have fashioned a savage tale of one man pitted against a brutal prison system...brilliantly stylized staging...this is the rare theatre company that contributes something indisputably unique to the New York theatre scene.
Director Joe Tantalo’s striking, minimalist production marvelously relies on purely theatrical imaginative devices. Mr. Tantalo’s accomplished, choreographic staging and the performances achieved often intense experiences...Lawrence Jansen is commanding as Luke, he creates a lively original characterization...Nick Paglino offers a powerfully chilling portrait of Southern authority as Boss Godfrey.
Godlight Theatre Company’s COOL HAND LUKE doesn’t pull any punches...adapter Emma Reeves remains truer to its source, touching the shadows of the crisis of faith that color it...director Joe Tantalo keeps the psyche big and the stage picture vivid...the less is more tack works.