Daily Archives: July 5, 2011

Career trumps marriage in a gripping production of Three Hotels at the Williamstown Theatre Festival

Three Hotels

By Jon Robin Baitz

Directed by Robert Falls

Cast: Maura Tierney as Barbara Hoyle and Steven Weber as Kenneth Hoyle

Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck

[WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.]—The Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage season opener, the Jon Robin Baitz drama Three Hotels, is a series of three illuminating monologues recounting the unraveling of a married couple’s outwardly successful life, superbly performed by Steven Weber and Maura Tierney under the sure-handed direction of Tony Award-winner Robert Falls. The show runs through July 24.

The play begins in an elegant hotel room in Tangier, Morocco; titled “The Halt & the Lame,” part one introduces us to Ken Hoyle, an upper-level executive for an international corporation that sells substandard baby formula in poor African countries, using manipulative and dishonest sales techniques. Hoyle is tasked with firing employees who are no longer useful, and he boasts that he’s very good at it. The trick, he says, is to do it quickly. “They go quietly when I do it,” he says. Weber’s portrayal is nuanced, beautifully calibrated, and persuasive: his Hoyle speaks directly, companionably, to the audience, explaining his job in a calm manner, even when he likens the firing process to “railroad tracks to the ovens.”
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