Reviewed by Brad Hathaway / Potomac Stages
Running time 1:35 - no intermission
* A Potomac Stages Pick for enormous intelligence in exploring the art of collaborative making music
When the objective is artistic expression, how do multiple individuals reach a consensus on every aspect of a performance?
The play offers a number of definitions of a string quartet. Some are simple dictionary definitions ("a group of four musicians") and some are frivolous attempts at humor.
One really captures the essence of the sound any quartet seeks: "Four instruments played by a single bow."
This at least is the goal of the members of the fictitious "Lazzara Quartet" (An in joke? The script has the group named for the historic instruments they play, but there is a Jamie Lazzara currently making soloist-quality violins in Italy.)
The actors who perform as the musicians in the quartet have something of the same task as their characters. While they explore the magic of collegial creation of the musical type, they have to accomplish a collegial performance of the dramatic type. The cast at the Washington Stage Guild accomplishes this admirably.
The result is a captivating, engrossing evening of intellectual pleasures.
Storyline: Three members of a successful string quartet have dismissed