Hissing voices echoing “Salieri”, “Assassin”, “Did he do it?” quietly slither through the theatre as the lights slowly go up on Lakewood Playhouse’s production of the Tony Award winning play “Amadeus”
Amidst the voices an aging Court Composer by the name of Antonio Salieri slowly begins his 30 year tale of treachery against his younger and more talented rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. By the play’s title, one might think the play is a biography of Mozart, but it is actually the tragic story of Salieri.
In the beginning, Salieri is a kind and competent composer with a strong religious background. But his Court encounters with the brilliant Mozart slowly turn Salieri into an intensely deceitful man at war with both Mozart and his own religion.
This spellbinding story of unbridled jealousy unfolds in Vienna at the Court of Joseph II, Emperor of Austria during the period 1782 to 1791.
Directed by Scott Campbell, “Amadeus” features Scott Brown as Salieri, Bryan Bender as Mozart and Lauren Wood at Mozart’s wife Constanze. Steve Tarry is , Joseph II, Emperor of Austria. James Pederson and Darrel Shephard are the Venticelli, purveyors of gossip and rumor.
“Amadeus” not only won the Tony Award for Best Play of 1984, but also won eight Academy Awards to include Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for F. Murray Abraham as Salieri.
Opening weekend attendee Lonnie Lai of Lakewood said “The Lakewood Playhouse never ceases to amaze me with the quality and ingenuity of their productions. Staging “Amadeus” with the audience on all four sides gave a tremendous sense of intimacy with the actors. Scott Brown was fabulous as Salieri and watching him changing costumes on stage and going from old to young and back to old was outstanding.”
Lai continued “A special treat at the concession stand were the Trop Chocolates named ‘The Nipples of Venus’. In the play, these chocolate delights were a favorite of Salieri’s and he often served them to female acquaintances. Nice marketing.”
“Amadeus” runs now through April 22 with curtain at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday. The Sunday matinee has a two pm curtain. Because of strong language, the play is recommended for ages 13 and older. Reservations and information are available by calling the Lakewood Playhouse Box Office at 253-588-0042.
Story and photo by Phil Raschke