- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 20, 2006

If Studio Theatre’s Secondstage production of “Frozen” suffers from anything, it is a discomfiture of riches. Three sterling performances by Andrew Long, Nancy Robinette, and MaryBeth Wise, an absorbing and emotionally complex play by British playwright Bryony Lavery, and impeccable direction by David Muse: Who could ask for anything more?

This is the kind of small, intense, actor-driven show Studio Theatre is known for. Like with last summer’s Secondstage offering “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow,” you emerge from the theater invigorated and wondering, “Where have these people and this play been all my life?”

Of course, Washington audiences are practically swapping Christmas cards with Miss Robinette, Mr. Long and Miss Wise, stalwarts of the local theater scene. All three are exemplary actors, so their performances here are not precisely a shock. Even so, the sheer variety of their choices will humble you and have you looking at these veteran actors in a fresh new light.

It also helps to have a meaty play to work with.

“Frozen” charts the interwoven lives of Ralph (Mr. Long), a convicted child murderer, an American researcher named Agnetha (Miss Wise) who believes that serial killers are ill and not evil, and Nancy,

WHAT: “Frozen,” by Bryony Lavery

WHERE: Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St., NW

WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Through May 7.

TICKETS: $25

PHONE: 202/332-3300

MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS

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