Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast

Urbanite Theatre
Review by William S. Oser | Season Schedule

Also see Bill's reviews of Sarasolo 2017, The Great Society and Joe Turner's Come and Gone

Photo Caption: Brendan Regan, Gopal Divan,
Tom Foley, and Summer Dawn Wallace

Photo by Cliff Roles
Mid season at Urbanite brings us Ideation by Aaron Loeb.

Ideation is described as a thriller and is about a team of consultants working on a project that none of them really knows much about, but what they do know gives them pause, as it concerns designing a facility to collect and dispose of bodies. As the characters begin to imagine the motivations behind what they are being asked to do, their thought processes veer off into paths that my very concrete brain patterns have trouble grasping. Urbanite's mission toward more modern and edgier fare is going to occasionally misfire for one or two audience members, and this play is a mismatch for me. I think many people who see this play are going to find it fascinating fare.

Urbanite gives Ideation an extraordinary production, under the direction of Jim Sorensen. Co-Artistic Directors Brendan Regan as Brock, the most ego driven of the engineers, and Summer Dawn Wallace as Hannah, the team leader, finally get the opportunity to act in the same production. They are both fine actors, graduates of Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Gopal Divan plays Sandeep and Tom Foley is Ted, the other two engineers, while Anthony Gullikson plays intern Scooter. Lawrence James plays the voice of JD, head of the company, heard but never seen. All are perfectly cast, the acting all feels vividly real, like the audience is eavesdropping on an actual team meeting.

All the technical elements of this production work extremely well. Costume design by David M. Walker fit each actor so perfectly that they might have been chosen from each actor's personal wardrobe, but they were not. Mr. Walker can do personal tailoring for me anytime.Rew Tippin's set design looks and feels like upscale corporate America, and lighting design by Justin Morris is unobtrusive and effective.

Urbanite Theatre's mission is to challenge its audiences, and Ideation challenged me right into areas where my brain doesn't go. It is still one of their strongest productions.

Urbanite Theatre presentsIdeation through March 12, 2017, at 1487 2nd St. Sarasota. Visit for more information.

Gopal Divan: Sandeep
Brendan Regan*: Brock
Summer Dawn Wallace*: Hannah
Tom Foley: Ted
Anthony Gullikson: Scooter
Lawrence James: JD
*=Member of Actors' Equity Association

Production Team:
Summer Dawn Wallace-co artistic director
Brendan Ragan: co artistic director
Jim Sorensen: director
Amanda LaForge: stage manager
Mark Beach: head carpenter
Rew Tippin: set design & sound engineer
Ryan Finzelber: properties design
Justin Morris: lighting design
Daniel Kelly: artistic associate
Harry Lipstein: founder & ensemble member
Mel Klenk: assistant stage manager
Sam Talmadge: Intern

Special Thanks to:
Bryant LaRosa at BOLD Building
Steve Csonka
Samantha Talmadge and Barbara Wheatly
Tim Billman and Florida Repertory Theatre
Rick Cannon
Rebecca Porzig
Grant Herren
Alida Schiller and Starbucks on Main Street
Patrick's 1481
Gary LaParl
Eric Montefusco
Asolo Rep & Asolo Scenic Studio
Neil Herren & Lex Jet Debye
Bernard & Twice's Nice Furniture and Collectibles Community Foundation of Sarasota County

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