Sunday, February 5, 2017


Capturing the musical essence of Peter Shaffer's intriguing drama "Amadeus" is an ambitious undertaking.  Finding the perfect pair of actors to portray the complex relationship between two musical geniuses like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri is challenging, but fortunately the Downtown Cabaret Main Stage Theatre, with Producing Artistic Director Eli Newsom at the helm, has accomplished that handily and you are invited to see the involving results weekends until Sunday, February 19.  The Bridgeport Downtown Cabaret at 263 Golden Hill Street is the setting for this drama of professional rivalry, winning five Tony Awards including Best Play.

Geoffery Gilbert's Salieri is a long time admirer of the child genius Mozart and likes to believe his own compositions are equal  if not superior in quality to the young competitor.  When he meets him, he is disappointed to find Mozart's actions are foolish and no indication of his artistic commands.  Salieri soon develops an unhealthy regard for the new up and comer who threatens to take his own place in the view of the Emperor (Andrea Pane) and the nobility.  Gilbert is masterful in his portrayal of a man consumed by jealousy and envy who does everything in his powers to discredit his rival and assume his own rightful place of prominence.  Salieri feels he deserves the accolades and secretly works behind the scene to make Mozart appear unworthy of praise.

For Mozart, a commanding Chris Kozlowski, Salieri appears as a friend and mentor, his champion, his savior.  In reality, Salieri blames God for giving Mozart unusual powers and denying those same qualities to him, who he believes deserves them more.  He even stoops to seduce Mozart's wife Constanza (Anna Fagan) in order to achieve his nefarious ends. Along the way, Salieri's cook, Cindy Cardoza, and valet, Enriquez Rivera, narrate the action in the courts.  The play opens with an aging and dying Salieri confessing his sins of poisoning Mozart and then flashes back to prove his claims. Nothing Salieri does, however, can help him rise above the level of mediocrity in the world of music.

William Stark's royal set and Jessica Camarero's lavish costumes add to the finely tuned direction by Lance Gray that keeps the story rolling to its disturbing conclusion.  For tickets ($23-28), call the Downtown Cabaret at 203-576-1636, option 0 or online at or  Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.

Come be caught up in the intrigue between two rivals, where one is naively innocent of the other's mean spirited motives and machinations.

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