Everyone is talking about it. “Closer” is the most risqué show we’ve had at WCU (both with and without the actor’s clothes on). With that said, the acting was nothing less than brilliant. The play uses little to any props or backdrop, which is the point of “black box theater,” but I haven’t seen a show this compelling since I became a student in fall 2005.
Benjamin Chafetz, Mark Hudson, Alexandra La Belle, and Kaley McCormick really pulled it off in both their dynamics as a cast and their portrayal of a constantly evolving love triangle. They were reminiscent of the actors from the movie, but brought their own individual styles to the performance. They also got to touch each other’s lives as actors, needless to say, in interesting ways.
La Belle plays a compelling and hypnotic Alice, an American stripper who is living in England. Hudson is an intense version of British obituary writer Dan, McCormick is striking as photographer Anna, and Chafetz steals the humor of the show in his interpretation of womanizing Doctor Larry. The play draws on the complexities that form as attraction mounts, hearts break and mend, and betrayal becomes a game to steal hearts.
The great thing about the play is that it also draws on the talents of its casts, all seniors from the theatre department, making “Closer” a great showcase for their hard work before they graduate. However, this show is not just about the actors. The students working as crew or filming the play helped the show come together at the right times and in the right ways.
Director Kai Hamilton, another senior majoring in both film and theater, created a spectacular show with a lot of heart and a lot of sex. I really enjoyed what he did with it and how he pushed the limits, leaving the audience laughing at some points and uncomfortable the next. It really worked for college students. This doesn’t mean that “Closer” may not have offended some people. In fact, the actors would often warn students and teachers not to judge them according to their behavior in the play. But that’s what I liked about it. It defied our conventions about romance and relationships, leaving the audience feeling like they had been sucker-punched hours after the show. To me, that is what differs an everyday show from a truly great performance.