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Friday, April 26, 2008

Theater review
Run to see "DORIAN" at Pentacle

When You get the chance to see a debut of a work created by a local artist, run to the box office and get your tickets.

"Dorian-The Remarkable Mister Gray" made its world premiere at Pentacle Theatre last week and runs through Saturday, May 10.

The musical, based on Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray," is the brainchild of Randy Bowser who wrote the score, lyrics and the book for the production. "Dorian" is a true theatrical experience from the music that evokes the best of Broadway, to the eye-popping costume design and masks.

The musical follows the classic tale by Wilde of a man who does not age but his painted portrait does. The show takes place in the London area in the late 1800s. The period is nicely represented with a creative set design by Tony Zandol.

You may go see "Dorian" for the costumes and sets, but you will be wowed by the score and the performances of the cast.

Salem resident Jason M. Bailey puts his matinee-idol good looks to work for this demanding role that has him on stage during most of the production. He and his voice are more than up for the task. His strong baritone carries throughout the theatre whether he is singing a ballad or an 11 o'clock song.

The featured roles and ensemble are filled with a mix of Pentacle veterans and newbies. The show really belongs to Sheree Ross, who plays two roles: Lily, a barmaid and Sybil, an underwhelming London actress who elicits both the love and rage of Dorian. Ross owns the stage when hse is on it, even at times outshining Bailey. Ross, who is a veeran stage performer, was perfectly cast in these roles; she brings both Lily and Sybil gloriously to life on the stage, you never want her to leave it.

The score is reminiscent of an Andrew Lloyd Webber score that pushes the story along (there is little dialog). The score serves 19th century London well, especially with such rousing numbers as "La La London" and the poignant "We Can Step Into Forever," which should become a standard like "Memories" from "Cats."

Dorian" runs through May 10.