The Great Gatsby is considered to be one of the greatest novels ever written, although its author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, never lived long enough to bask in its glory. The Montana Repertory Theatre has a history of taking these great American stories and turning them into classic theater. Their current production of The Great Gatsby raises that bar to a new level.
Although Gatsby may be the title character, it is Daisy Buchanan who is the star of this production. Kelly Campbell turns in what would be a Tony-winning performance (were this production on Broadway), and brings new understanding and emphasis to Gatsby's former love interest. She lights up the stage every time she appears on it, and outshines the rest of the cast, despite their own amazing portrayals. In the words of character Jordan Baker, "Don't you just love Daisy? Everyone does."
The Rep's Artistic Director, Greg Johnson, directs this masterpiece, which was adapted for the stage by Simon Levy. With creative help from Scenic Director John Shaffner, Costume Designer Karen Hummel Kinsley, Lighting Director Mark Dean Sound Designer Zach Hamersley and Media Designer Hugh Bickley, the production shines in every way possible.
While Campbell is magnificent throughout, Hugh Bickley (Tom Buchanan) and Mark Kuntz (Jay Gatsby) truly hit their mark in the action-packed second act, as their mano v. mano battle reaches its climax in this great American tragedy. Likewise, Mason Wagner (Nick Carraway) shows his character's overwhelmed nature as he is a witness to a drama he can only watch.
The remainder of the cast turn in fine supporting performances, especially Jourdan Nokleby (Myrtle Wilson) and Amber Rose Mason (Jordan Baker). Kudos also to Colton Hochhalter, who portrays four very distinct characters (Meyer, Mr. McKee, Cop and Dancer), of which his portrayal of Meyer steals the show.
The final Missoula performances are scheduled for February 5 and 7, after which the Rep heads out on its national tour. Tickets are available at the PAR/TV box office or online at griztix.com. AXS is proud to recommend this amazing production.