REVIEW: Love, God and Beauty are One with Falcon’s “Vincent”

by Sherri Ogden Wellington

Vincent, a one-man play produced by Falcon Theatre, Newport, captivates the audience while enlightening them to the heart and soul of the man. Fun fact: Spock (Leonard Nimoy) wrote Vincent which was based upon a play Van Gogh written by Phillip Stephens. 

This is a one-man play.  (Don’t run off.)  This is an amazing one-man play!  Chad Brinkman plays the brother of Vincent, Theo Van Gogh, and through the use of  props and by using a different voice,  he also  plays Vincent.  He executes this feat with passionate speeches,  superb acting and by drawing everyone into the play by literally going into the audience, sharing his energy and ardor.

Background

The play grabs your attention immediately by Theo (Vincent’s brother) narrating his brother’s early years.  When one thinks of Vincent van Gogh one also thinks of him being mad (cutting off his ear) and deaf, as well as his famous paintings “Starry Night,” “Sunflowers” or “Irises.” Finding out that Vincent had been a minister, which he failed at, then turning to art at his brother’s direction is something most people are unaware of.  His relationships were, to say the least, unusual, both with women and other artists, especially Paul Gaugain.  His spirituality, total embrace of nature, and struggles with his mental illness are spellbinding.

The Creative Team

Ted Weil (Artistic Director & on Production Team for:  Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Set Construction, & Lobby Display), as always, makes wise decisions on who to hire for his plays.  David Derringer debuts as Vincent’s Director and Samantha Joy Juhn as Assistant Director.  David Derringer also is on the Production Team for  Sound Design & Video Adaption which is extensive in the play.  Pictures of Vincent’s work are projected onto an on-stage screen throughout the play which captivate and intensify the ambiance..  Sounds such as miners working and background noises augment the story.  Derringer also heads prop design.  Props are extensive: a scarf, a straw hat, a pipe, a pen, a glass, torn linen, are just a few that Brinkman uses to tell the saga of Vincent.

Brinkman’s costume (Costume Design:  Riley Caldwell) is simple: a plain suit, white shirt, a red vest,  a nondescript tie and formal shoes.  It neither distracts or enhances what is being said, which is ideal.  Definitely a professional, well thought out production with the help of Production Stage Manager, Katie Ruwe and Jake Schaub.  Another fun fact is that there is a dramaturg (Julie Carpenter) on the Production Team.  A dramaturg  is the person who thoroughly knows the play, does research and uses their resources to assist the director and others on the production team to enhance the play. You learn something new everyday!  

Bottom Line

If you haven’t been to the Falcon Theatre, you must go.  Everyone is friendly and welcoming.  The theatre itself is intimate and cozy.  This play is one of the many great performances that Falcon hosts. Treat yourself to a night out! 

By the way, a local artist, Steve Luhn, designed a Souvenir Poster.  Not only is it a fabulous piece of art, all  of the proceeds go directly to support  Falcon. Pick one up on your way out.  

Tickets

Vincent plays from January 26 & 27, February 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 & 10,  2024  All of the performance times are at 8:00 pm.  To purchase tickets and/or get more information go to: https://falcontheater.net/current-season/vincent/