Theater review: 'Dissonance' at the Falcon Theatre
It's no novelty for playwrights to toy with classical musical structures as the basis for drama. Michael Hollinger’s “Opus” and Itamar Moses' "Bach at Leipzig" are only two examples.
Like “Opus,” Damian Lanigan's “Dissonance,” now in its West Coast premiere at the Falcon, centers on the fortunes, both romantic and artistic, of a classical string quartet, in this case the London-based Bradley Quartet, which is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a concert at Carnegie Hall.
James (Daniel Gerroll), the temperamental founder of the group, is a violin virtuoso who has fallen short of greatness. Second violin Hal (Peter Larney), an annoying purist, constantly hectors James about methods and musicianship. Violist Paul (Skip Pipo), James' brother and the object of his abuse, serves as passive peacemaker between the two. When Beth (Elizabeth Schmidt), the group's cellist and Hal's former flame, takes rock star Jonny (Jeffrey Cannata) as a music student and a lover, the delicate balance of the quartet is upended.
Early on, Lanigan seems intent on schooling us in the history of classical music -- grinding exposition that wears thin, as do Lanigan's laborious musical metaphors.
-- F. Kathleen Foley
“Dissonance,” Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays. Ends March 4. $34.50-$42. (818) 955-8101 or www.FalconTheatre.com. Running time: 2 hours.
Photo: Daniel Gerroll. Credit: Chelsea Sutton.