Lyceum's 'Mr. Green' worth a visit

Thursday, September 23, 2004
Although Ross and Mr. Green, played by Philip Coffield and Michael Bollinger, don't see eye to eye at first, their friendship grows with time.

The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre's fall season opened to a less than half-full house, a pity because the featured performances were so good.

"Visiting Mr. Green" is a study in the differences of generations and the lack of understanding people have for those who share their worlds.

The play is full of laugh-out-loud moments, a testament to both the comedic talents of director Terry Sneed and the familiarity of Michael Bollinger and Philip Coffield, who have worked together for 19 years. But what really made this production special is its drama.

Presented as a series of vignettes, the play shows the evolution of a relationship between two men thrown together by circumstances they can't control. Slowly, they become friends and eventually even a bond closer to the relationship between a father and son develops.

As Ross, Coffield personifies the harried young New York executive. Bollinger also does an excellent job of climbing inside the 86-year-old body of Mr. Green, shuffling through his apartment at his much slower pace.

As they have demonstrated in countless performances, Coffield and Bollinger are a precision duo. They know exactly how to push each other to get the maximum effect of a scene from an audience, be it peals of laughter or an emotionally-stunned silence.

The silent partner of the production is set designer Randy B. Winder. As he did earlier this year with "The Drawer Boy," Winder has created a set that transcends stage dressing and seems like a completely livable environment.

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