'Amadeus' review: Acting, costumes, script far better than pacing, sound - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
From left to right: Pat Schwery as Salieri, Andrew Miner as Mozart and Danielle Smith as Constanze Weber in "Amadeus."(TERRY L. SCHMIDT)


'Amadeus' review: Acting, costumes, script far better than pacing, sound
By Bob Fischbach / World-Herald staff writer


Some fine character acting, beautiful period costumes and a historically fascinating script are selling points of the Bellevue Little Theatre's production of “Amadeus,” which opened Friday.

Playwright Peter Shaffer's Tony- and Oscar-winning story of the rivalry between Antonio Salieri, court composer to Austrian Emperor Joseph II, and composing prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is undeniably gripping stuff. Yet the production feels unsteady in its emotional footing and long in the telling (2 hours, 50 minutes including intermission), yielding mixed results.

The decision to sabotage Mozart's career haunts Salieri in his declining years, to the point of teetering mental health. Salieri tells the tale from an asylum in 1823, leading to a series of flashbacks when Mozart visited the Austrian court from 1781 to 1791.

As Mozart, Andrew Miner's playful energy and cackling laughter bring the character vividly to life, often recalling Tom Hulce's Oscar-nominated performance in the 1984 movie. Miner gradually shifts the former child genius from careless or clueless to hints of inward reflection and maturation.

Pat Schwery, a gifted veteran actor, gives a brave and emotionally raw performance as Salieri, a righteous man who becomes embittered that God would bestow musical genius on the giggling, crude and childish Mozart rather than himself. The play becomes a thought-provoking reflection on the corrupting power of hatred and jealousy, and the crisis of faith it induces.

Schwery and director Lori Obradovich go early and often to the well of deep, anguished emoting. As a result, moments in which Salieri curses God and, late in the play, begs Mozart for forgiveness are less effective and climactic than they might have been if other moments had been more nuanced or restrained in contrast.

Among personal favorites in the supporting cast were Deb Kelly and Ryan Eberhart as “Venticelli,” gossiping socialites at court whom Salieri uses as spies and reliable rumor mongers. Their clever delivery gives the play some welcome humorous relief.

Danielle Smith shows considerable range as Mozart's flirty wife, Constanze, rides an emotional roller coaster, and Randy Wallace is effective as a baron who befriends Mozart, then abandons him over his behavior.

Pacing is uneven, at times slowed by the frequent movement of large, heavy tables and ornate chairs. Chairs sometimes came and went without ever being sat on.

Sound, including crucial passages of Mozart's music, cut in and out at times. And I might be a wet blanket, but the curtain call, done to the loud rock anthem “Rock Me Amadeus,” felt emotionally jarring and undermining to the mood set by the play's sober ending.

* * * * *

Amadeus

What: Stage drama
Where: Bellevue Little Theatre, 203 W. Mission Ave. in Bellevue
When: Friday through Nov. 24.
Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets: $15 adults, $13 senior citizens, $9 students
Information: 402-291-1554 or bellevuelittletheatre.com

Contact the writer: Bob Fischbach

bob.fischbach@owh.com    |   402-444-1269

Bob reviews movies and local theater productions and writes stories about those topics, as well.

Read more stories by Bob


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Here's who'd play Pelini, Osborne and 19 other Nebraska celebrities in a movie
Here's who'd play Pelini, Osborne and 19 other Nebraska celebrities in a movie

When Hollywood comes calling to tell the story of one of our own, we need to be ready with some casting suggestions because the movie executives will certainly want to hear what we think.


'That thing is atrocious': Rusty steel panel in downtown Papillion plaza spurs complaints
'That thing is atrocious': Rusty steel panel in downtown Papillion plaza spurs complaints

The panel is made of weathering steel that's commonly used in building designs. It's supposed to be turning into a vibrant orange panel emblazoned with a monarch butterfly, but the transformation process is taking longer than expected.


Paul McCartney's best moments (and also his weirdest)
Paul McCartney's best moments (and also his weirdest)

Paul McCartney, who will perform in Lincoln this summer, is responsible for some of the most beautiful pop music ever recorded. But he’s had some head-scratching moments, too.


Watch Westside High seniors Jack and Jack answer fan calls
Watch Westside High seniors Jack and Jack answer fan calls

Vine superstars and Omaha residents Jack and Jack were in studio with Mike'l Severe. Fans called in with questions for the guys from across the country.


‘Wonder Bread Years’: Tickets on sale now for salute to baby boomer generation

Tickets go on sale today at the Omaha Community Playhouse for “The Wonder Bread Years,” Pat Hazell’s comedy salute to the baby boomer generation.


What to watch: John Wayne in 'Stagecoach' on TCM
What to watch: John Wayne in 'Stagecoach' on TCM

John Wayne stars as the Ringo Kid in this classic Western about a group of people traveling through the unsettled West who are threatened by Geronimo.


An early look at the new Beercade (photos)
An early look at the new Beercade (photos)

A new Beercade's only a few months away, and the owners let us look at the new space next door.


Michael W. Smith will perform at the Nebraska State Fair
Michael W. Smith will perform at the Nebraska State Fair

Michael W. Smith will headline the Nebraska State Fair’s Christian concert on Thursday, Aug. 28.
Smith will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Heartland Events Center.
The multiple Grammy Award winner has sold more than 15 million albums, has had 28 No. 1 hits and 40 Dove Awards, making him one of the nation’s favorite mainstream Christian artists.


Listen: Larry the Cable Guy tells us about his recent injury on a movie set
Listen: Larry the Cable Guy tells us about his recent injury on a movie set

In this clip from Monday's "The Bottom Line," Larry the Cable Guy talks about his benefit show for the Team Jack Foundation, his recent injury and what kind of Husker fan he is.


Paul McCartney will play Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena this summer
Paul McCartney will play Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena this summer

It will be his first time performing in Lincoln, but he did play Omaha in 2005.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved