Theatre Review: ‘Native Gardens’ at Silver Spring Stage

Theatre Assessment: ‘Native Gardens’ at Silver Spring Stage

3 minutes, 58 seconds Read

Left to Proper: Chris Galindo (Pablo Del Valle), Alexandra Bailey (Tania Del Valle), Sarah Holt (Virginia Butley), and Scott Holden (Frank Butley) in “Native Gardens” at Silver Spring Stage. Photograph by Ira Levine.

Generally, much less is extra. “Native Gardens,” a comedy by Karen Zacarías is an ideal instance. At present taking part in at Silver Spring Stage, it has a small solid (solely 4 members have any dialogue), one set, and takes place over a number of days. It makes some very sturdy factors about battle and battle decision.

…humorous and optimistic… a ‘blooming’ success.

Virginia and Frank Butley (Sarah Holt and Scott Holden) are an older, White couple, financially secure and near retirement. They’ve lived in a longtime, upper-class neighborhood (which seems to be Washington, DC nevertheless it may very well be wherever) for years. Frank likes to work in his small yard and has been attempting to win the native award for greatest garden. Ginny, as she likes to be referred to as, has risen pretty excessive as a authorities contractor, generally struggling as a result of she is a girl. They’ve an single son who’s lives on his personal.

Pablo and Tania Del Valle (Chris Galindo and Alexandra Bailey) have simply moved into the home subsequent door. Pablo is a Chilean immigrant simply beginning out at a prestigious legislation agency. Tania is from New Mexico, with an Hispanic background. She is engaged on her dissertation and fairly pregnant. 

Frank and Tania have very contrasting concepts about gardening, however all of them agree that the ugly outdated metal wire fence separating the 2 yards must be changed by a extra engaging wood one. When Pablo and Tania discover out that the property strains for his or her yard really lengthen into the Butley’s, together with Frank’s beloved garden, tempers rise and the variations of the 2 {couples} are magnified. The plot facilities round how the {couples} take care of their conflicts, if they will compromise, and in the end reside in concord.

Galindo provides a powerful efficiency as Pablo. He can go from a meek husband and worker to a demanding neighbor, and, at occasions, partner. Bailey’s Tania could be very sturdy particular person, however her efficiency provides a softness that an expectant mom might need, desirous to make an excellent setting for her youngster. It’s Tania, not Pablo, who tries to fix fences.

Holt captures the highly effective Ginny who might have been the one at work who needed to compromise and get alongside together with her male counterparts. At house, she is on her personal turf and is fast to face up for her husband and their property. As Frank, Holden additionally permits us to empathize with this growing old authorities employee who has turn out to be nearly compulsive about his garden.

Matt Ripa’s course is brisk, however he permits his actors to develop. The blocking is perfection for this uncommon stage and I may see and listen to all the things. All of the actors have nice chemistry. We by no means doubt they’re two married {couples} who, in their very own method, nonetheless in love with one another.

Leigh Ok. Rawls’ set could also be the actual star right here and probably the greatest I’ve seen. She, together with Grasp Carpenter Douglas Becker, have created two distinct backyards. There are facades of each homes, every distinct in a particular method. One appears properly cared for and the opposite appears prefer it wants some TLC. It’s actually the great gardens Rawls has created, painted, and embellished which can be so eye-catching. You realize earlier than the play begins that somebody is a grasp gardener. It’s an ingenious contact that when the flowers are pulled out throughout the play, even the soil comes with them. After they get replanted, they go in rapidly and look beautiful.

The costumes by Stephanie Yee match the characters, together with a being pregnant bump for Tania. Don Slater’s lighting helps create the temper, and the evening scenes are nonetheless properly lit. Matthew Datcher’s sound design additionally assists in conveying moods and transitioning the scenes.

If the play has one flaw, it’s the ending which is slightly too tidy. In case you have ever had neighbor troubles, you may know its not often ends this manner, however it’s good to see a play that’s humorous and optimistic at a time when the world appears so bleak. “Native Gardens” is a “blooming” success.

Working Time: One hour and half-hour with no intermission.

“Native Gardens’ runs by means of July 16, 2022 at Silver Spring Stage, 10145 Colesville Street, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901 (Woodmoor Buying Middle). For tickets go to this hyperlink. Notice: Vaccination playing cards are required and masks should be worn within the theatre. 

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