Best Ensemble Production Houston 2004 -
Main Street Theater's The Dead The fact that dramatists Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey managed to tease James Joyce's melancholic story The Dead into a musical was nothing short of astonishing. But it was the skilled cast who re-created the essential Victorian party scene at the center of Joyce's tale with delicate warmth and seamless familial unity. The middle-aged drunk, Mr. Browne (played by David Downing), enticed fellow partner in crime Freddy (Kregg Alan Dailey) with a salesman's care. Celeste Roberts's high-strung rendition of Miss Molly Ivors played off Joel Sandel's gentlemanly Gabriel with expert precision. Warmth and tenderness came from the dear old aunts played by Marietta Marich and Sylvia Froman, and adding beauty and a palpable sadness was Kaytha Coker as Gabriel's lonely wife, Gretta. All together, they created a tender production for the Christmas season and captured the intelligence and aching heart of Joyce's story.