Veronica Pahomova staff writer
Whether one knows him as Zombieland’s Columbus, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, magician J. Daniel Atlas or notorious DC villain Lex Luthor, Jesse Eisenberg’s genius is not restrained to the big screen. This prominent sight for sore eyes is also a playwright, and an exquisitely marvelous one at that. Eisenberg’s “The Revisionist”has proven to be an awe-inspiring and encapsulating play sure to leave the audience chuckling, tearing and everything in between.
From the horrors of the Holocaust in the mid-1900s all the way to the seemingly incessant spewing of problems from the current Syrian civil war, humanity’s individuals have been plagued with harrowing predicaments. Yet from David’s (Seamus Mulcahy) perspective, the young and aspiring man is combatting the most dire issue the world could throw at him: writer’s block. Not only is David lost in a sea of plots and character development, but he is also self-absorbed, prone to fits of rage and a frequent consumer of marijuana.
Adding all of David’s melodrama with family-oriented second cousin Maria (Deanna Dunagan), Eisenberg conjures up a work of near masterpiece as he wholeheartedly addresses family matters and differing perspectives.
Although Eisenberg places countless snippets of comedy, the play is a drama. David is undoubtedly a tragic figure while Maria clearly exerts pathos-like characteristics. Both characters act as a foil for one another and lead inversely proportional states in regards to happiness and deterioration.
Though the plot was, in itself, undeniably mesmerizing, the audience’s visual arousal was provoked by the Wallis’s stage setup: a centered set with a panel of viewers on either side. Not only did this arrangement provide an intimate experience, but it also accentuated the three actors’ astounding performances.
Considering the fact that Eisenberg used his life to loosely formulate his piece, David was a role based on Eisenberg. That being said, Mulcahy provided an on-point depiction of Eisenberg’s persona. So accurate, in fact, that an audience member in the back row blatantly pointed out that if she “did not have her glasses on, she would have mistaken Mulcahy for Jesse.”
Dunagan’s presentation of Maria proves to be an accurate representation of an elderly woman with a perfect composition of sass, wittiness, humor and wisdom. With one wave of Dunagan’s hand, the audience is covered in a wave of laughter, yet with one stomp of her foot, the very same group of people find their hearts even lower than their stomachs, reassuring the necessary acting capabilities needed in order to portray such a dynamic and all-around lively character as Maria.
Even Zenon (Ilia Volok), the oafish taxi driver with whom Maria presumably has relations with, does a splendid job with supplying comic relief throughout the performance.
Overall, Eisenberg has yet again dazzled his fans and critics with yet another one of his pristine works. Each and every audience member is surely getting his/her money’s worth, but no one is buckled securely enough to be prepared for the unpredictably sharp turns “The Revisionist”takes.