The always excellent Godlight Theatre Company has another winner with Matt Pelfrey’s stark and powerful adaptation…Working on a bare stage, Director Joe Tantalo (whose efforts here are sheer perfection) and the Godlight actors brilliantly recreate the atmosphere of the time and place depicted…a show not to be missed.
Engaging the audience’s imagination, Director Joe Tantalo is able to create the theatrical equivalent of a novelist’s easy reach through time and space…Matt Pelfrey’s muscular adaptation establishes John Ball’s novel as a pop classic that, like a great 60s rock song, is both true to its times and perennially open to fresh interpretations.
In the Heat of the Night is a clever whodunit...some terrific twists...director Joe Tantalo uses the space well...the production allows for nuanced performances. Nick Paglino is especially good; so is Ryan O’Callaghan...Sean Phillips is solid...Heat has some strong moments...nicely lit by Maruti Evans. The story is worth telling.
I am so glad to have seen it. The play is taut and startlingly resonant...Pelfrey’s work is economical and uncompromising. The direction, by indie theater wizard Joe Tantalo, is spare and jolting and brilliant...This rendition of In the Heat of the Night is suspenseful, thrilling, and stunningly theatrical...The cast of ten is exemplary...And if, like me, you’re new to this powerful tale, here’s a great opportunity to take it in and to enjoy the signal talents of Godlight Theatre, here doing work that ranks with their very finest.
In the Heat of the Night, John Ball’s 1965 exploration of interracial strife in Alabama, proves still topical in Matt Pelfrey’s succinct stage adaptation, now being presented by Godlight Theatre Company at 59E59 Theaters. Better still, in director Joe Tantalo’s sure hands, the result is a tight — and timely — little thriller...Sean Phillips, giving a performance of admirable restraint and polish...Providing perfect counterpoint is Gregory Konow as Gillespie, the beer-bellied, balding police chief — a banally evil good ole boy who comes to accord Tibbs a grudging respect. As his deputies, Nick Paglino and Sam Whitten are equally skilled and thoroughly convincing in their roles. Ryan O’Callaghan is terrific as a sequential pair of young bigots.
In The Heat of the Night is now being ingeniously reinterpreted on a live stage for the first time ever...Most of all it’s eminently stageworthy — especially as mounted by Tantalo with a cast of ten actors playing almost twice as many characters...The result is a tense and exciting story that follows the book’s basic plot but offers viewers a distinctly new and different In the Heat of the Night...this familiar yet fresh take on a novel best known for its film and TV spinoffs is one of the best theater buys in town.
The Godlight Theater Company has made a specialty of intriguing literary adaptations...The stylized proceedings feature theatrical flourishes...Phillips and Konow are strong in the central roles...Director Joe Tantalo lays the sultry atmosphere on thick. Before the play begins, a scantily clad young woman writhes suggestively in the central playing area surrounded by the audience on four sides — a creepy, voyeuristic touch.