Best Performance by an Actor

Jerry Vogel, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Upstream Theater

Staff Pick

Is playing a no-name sailor really the sort of role that drives audiences wild with delight? When it's the titular mariner in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the actor in question is Jerry Vogel, the answer is an unqualified yes. Vogel recited the whole of the poem during the production, but he also lived it. More than that, he brought the audience with him. His eyes wild, his face shining with ecstasy, Vogel's mariner carried us from a wedding on dry land to the wastes of the briny deep and safely back to shore. But the greater journey was metaphysical. Somewhere out there on that terrifying sea, we faced something dreadful that exists in all of us. Vogel was our psychopomp, guiding us out of the madness and darkness and back into the light of the living world. It was a stunning, mesmerizing show that displayed both Vogel's great gifts as a performer and his generosity of spirit in sharing them with us. www.upstreamtheater.org.
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