Starting with a premise that sounds almost impossible to capture convincingly onstage—this production, directed by Joe Tantalo, compounds the challenge by allowing virtually no set or props. It succeeds with astonishing virtuosity, evoking every twist in the river and the plot as surely as if it were being performed on location…This is fundamentally a nightmare thriller, as taut and suggestive as a Daphne du Maurier short story.
It’s actually amazing how much pulse-quickening suspense ingenious director Joe Tantalo and his excellent cast create...‘Deliverance’ proves the power of ingenious stagecraft...But, as a lesson in the power of evocation — and in entrusting your audience to fill in the blanks — this “Deliverance” holds water.
James Dickey’s Deliverance, the latest foray into the unstageable-turned-credible for the award-winning Godlight Theatre Company, proves to further this Off Broadway troupe’s knack for challenging the boundaries of adaptation...Director Joe Tantalo and his superb crew of technicians, whose lighting and sound ingenuity is a show unto itself, keep Deliverance from ever threatening to capsize.
A smart, insightful production at 59E59 Theaters by channeling the book’s vast natural backdrop and big themes onto a small stage and focusing on the interior journeys of its characters...It’s an apt reminder of one of the themes that this creative production is driving at. By the end, we feel as though we’ve been on a strange trip, not through the vast wilderness but into a man’s heart of darkness — and perhaps our own.
Do not underestimate the talents of director Joe Tantalo and his colleagues at Godlight Theatre Company. The company specializes in adapting prose works to the stage and all involved have found a plausible and highly imaginative way of stylizing Dickey’s narrative. They prove that you don’t need to spill a drop of stage blood to spread terror in the theatre….Paglino’s performance generates an intensity that by itself is enough to keep our attention riveted…Tyler’s language is lean and taut as a tripwire; this is an exceptionally fine adaptation...this is a killer of a tale, offering 90 minutes of high anxiety.
A brilliantly harrowing stage adaptation...Godlight Theatre Company’s adaptation of Deliverance grabs the audience by the throat and never lets go till after the final curtain.
Forget ‘Dueling Banjos’ and ‘Squeal like a pig’, Godlight Theatre Company’s new stage adaptation of Deliverance stays extremely faithful to the sparse, brutal poetry of James Dickey’s original novel, allowing us to forget the iconic film adaptation…While much of the nail-biting action in Dickey’s novel takes place on the river itself, director Joe Tantalo’s production miraculously achieves the same tension using only a bare stage with suggestive light and sound cues. The acting is remarkable, particularly Nick Paglino as the narrator Ed, a man pushed to limits of survivalist humanity he had previously thought impossible...By using only the dialogue and narration found in the novel itself, the show succeeds in fully recreating Dickey’s haunting journey to the heart of darkness, within man and without.
James Dickey’s Deliverance, Godlight Theater Company’s world premier theatrical adaptation of Dickey’s 1970 novel, Deliverance, is a theatrical tour de force that will grab you from the moment you step into the theater and keep you in its grip well past the final bow. It is a brave, cohesive and adventurous piece of theatre, the likes rarely seen in New York, and one not to be missed…The expertise brought to the stage by every member of the company is all that this astonishing and disturbing production requires to suspend disbelief and take viewers on the journey of a lifetime.
The Godlight Theatre Company has mounted a most ingenious adaptation by Sean Tyler...this 90-minute, intermissionless dramatization packs a good deal of atmosphere, suspense, and excitement, as tautly paced by director Joe Tantalo...Such is the power of theater and good storytelling.
Expect to be chilled to the bone by this ever-insightful examination of what lurks in the pit of men’s soul...All of the actors are excellent...At times you’ll think you are actually seeing the woods, the river, a deer, but it’s just your mind getting caught up in this thrilling, unique theatrical experience.
Director Joe Tantalo and a seven actor ensemble make it gripping and often truly shocking...the piece is intensely suspenseful, sometimes crazily tense.
This unique production holds the audience captive with tension and challenge for 90 minutes...Because the realism of Deliverance cannot be duplicated on a stage, Sean Tyler’s translation based on James Dickey’s novel depends on audience imagination. It’s success owes much credit to production values, a skilled cast and the masterly direction of Joe Tantalo...It is worth seeing.
Godlight Theater Company, a troupe committed to bringing books to the stage, has given James Dickey’s 1970 novel, “Deliverance,” the theatrical treatment. Performed by seven actors on an intimate stage just 12 feet by 12 feet, it’s the kind of backwoods saga that will make you lavishly thankful for the comforts of concrete and taxis and takeout Chinese...Joe Tantalo directs it tautly.