“Margo Veil” a Successful Satirical Noir

Stratton McCrady for photos

Stratton McCrady for photos

Presented by Suffolk University Theatre Department
By Len Jenkin
Directed by Wesley Savick
November 17-20, 2016
Modern Theatre at Suffolk University

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I must admit, after glancing at the extensive cast list in the program for Suffolk’s production of Margo Veil, I was a bit concerned that there were going to be too many cooks in the kitchen (or actors on the stage, I suppose). But I was ecstatic to be proved wrong as the fantastical story became more interesting and curiouser and curioser with each scene.

While the actual plot of Margo Veil wasn’t as fascinating as the story telling that takes place, the show focuses on Margo Veil (Sarah Louise Vasilevsky), an aspiring actress and femme fatale type who covets fame. She comes with all the clichés that you’d expect, including small town roots and sleeping with a playwright named Arthur Vine (Ma’chel Martin) to land a part in his show.

Well, as these stories tend to go, Margo Veil gets caught up in a murder, one she committed in self-defense, and, desperate not to be framed for the crime, she escapes with Arthur Vine and is forced into a mad science procedure to transport her soul into another body so she isn’t captured by the law. Like I said…typical.

What was so captivating about Margo Veil was how intentional and clever it was in its satire. The noir vibes and femme fatale motif were utilized in a humorous way so that the audience wasn’t forced to roll their eyes, but rather, laughed at the eccentricity of the characters. Sarah Louise Vasilevsky’s timing was on point as Margo and I found myself drawn to her quirkiness and immediate likeability. The two narrators (Andrea Royo and Erica Lundin) also had great chemistry and were able to layer their vocal performances on top of each other and create an astounding sense of mystery, all while helping craft a world that the audience was able to fluidly move through without feeling lost.

The lighting and sound effects throughout the show were well done, adding to the humor, noir, and fantastical mystery. I also enjoyed that the Foley Artists (Aria Lynn Sergany and Ksenia Kamalova) were seated in the audience’s line of sight, placed behind a desk that hovered just above the first couple rows of seats to create an immersive and visceral experience.

The only point that I started feeling like the show was slipping was when Margo’s soul was forced into a different body. I was fine exploring the different lives she was having in the new forms, but there was too much time spent on Arthur Vine’s experiences in his new body, at which point it felt like the show deviated from the fun, whimsy whirlwind and tried too hard to create a dramatic, overworked plot.

Margo Veil was a wonderful display of theatre, proving that student run productions are successful when the many working pieces come together to create something beautiful. I sensed a great deal of trust from all these components so that the story was told with aplomb, which made it easy for the audience to trust the journey.

Margo Veil runs for 1 hour, 15 minutes with no intermission.

Queen’s Note:
We have elected a tangerine ass-bugle bigot with scrawny hands and terrible hair to the office of the President. The theatre community has every reason to be scared that the national budget for the arts will be slashed. It will be. Certain republicans tend to disrespect experimental, avant-garde, or simply new art. If it challenges the white, straight, hetero status quo, they tend to be against it. New things frighten them with their difference. Belts will need to be tightened. For the love of all that’s sacred, keep creating your art despite this painful bullshit. If you need help, ask for it. Our existence is our resistance. Please keep fighting the good fight. – KD

#blacklivesmatter #translivesmatter #brownlivesmatter #yellowlivesmatter #lgbtqialivesmatter #immigrantlivesmatter #muslimlivesmatter #disabledlivesmatter #theatreartsmatter #NODAPL

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