Larry Murray’s review also appears in Broadway World.
In “Vincent,” actor Jim Briggs takes a painterly approach to telling the story of the life of Vincent van Gogh. He lays down the basic brush strokes slowly at the beginning, reading from the hundreds of letters exchanged between the artist and his brother, Theo van Gogh, in a simple, straightforward voice. As the details accumulate, a fascinating tale emerges as this first production by the Starry Night Theatre Company debuts on the St. Germain Stage of Barrington Stage Co. in Pittsfield, MA.
The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts welcomed the company with an almost full house, a near miracle for something without elves, grinches, scrooges or nutcrackers during the dark December days. Then again, this rural region is renowned for having almost as many theatre companies as cows.
The original play, as written by Leonard Nimoy, divides the play into two sections, the first in which we learn about the artist from his brother Theo through their letters to each other, and the second in which Theo talks directly to the audience about Vincent. It is a simple dramatic device that makes Act One purely expository, and Act Two not only dramatic, but revelatory.