Life and Love in The Binding Room

libraryThe Binding Room, now being presented by the Players at Barker Playhouse, features charming performances and an intriguing story about the lives of librarians. The main theme letting go of the past in order to guarantee a brighter future.

Susannah (Linda Monchik) and Margo (Carole Collins) work in the binding room of a library in Rhode Island. They spend their days binding books and discussing art, literature and history, and the actors have a winning rapport and serve as solid anchors for this story. Susannah is estranged from her sister Charlotte (Susan Collyer), who has the rights to sell some valuable diaries in the library’s collection. The library has a leaking roof, but there is not enough money to fix it, unless the diaries are sold. Susannah does not want to sell the diaries, so she hatches a scheme with Margo to hide them. Throughout the show, there are  revelations about Susannah’s past relationship with Matthew (Sandy Remington), who oversees the library.

Playwright Eliza Collins has provided the characters with engaging personalities and witty dialogue. Susannah is highly intelligent with equal parts vulnerability and strength. Margo is quirky and very likable.

Steven Vessella, who directed The Binding Room, knows how to pace the story and elicits effective performances from the cast. Tom Lavallee also shines as Peter, who is assigned to work in the library as community service. Lavellee has a keen sense of comic timing and knows how to work a line of dialogue. Carolyn Coughlin has some amusing moments as Francesca, who also works at the library.

The Binding Room is a solidly entertaining piece of theater.

The Binding Room runs through January 31. Barker Playhouse, 400 Benefit St, Providence. 401-273-0590.

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