Review of "Last Train to Nibroc" at the Rose Firebay

Arlene Hutton’s intimate, funny, two character romance , "Last Train to Nibroc," opened this past weekend in the Rose Firebay of the the John Waldron Arts Center.

A couple of Kentuckians, a religious young woman fresh from rejection by her fiancé and a secular young man equally fresh from rejection by the air force meet on the train that is returning them from California.

Playwright Hutton has come up with a really interesting and attractive pair of wounded, but still cocky characters. Under Phil Kasper’s direction, Allison Batty as May and Matt Harding as Raleigh are exemplary dualists. Throughout "Last Train to Nibroc" my sympathies swayed from on to the other and back. Both Batty and Harding have a real feel for and skill in portraying their characters’ strengths and their vulnerabilities.

In one scene, May, who’s recently become a school principal and Raleigh, who aspires to be a serious writer, do an extended battle over grammar. It was a real tour de force with "see," "saw" and "seen" all "see-sawing" around. Saturday Night Live should hope for highlights as good as this one.

Naturally, I was hoping that the two fragile battlers would some get together and they do, but you’re going to have to either see the play yourself or get some one else to tell you the key to the hilariously touching ending.

"Last Train to Nibroc" at the Waldron Arts Center plays Friday and Saturday nights at eight through the 26th. There is a two o’clock matinee on Sunday the 20th.

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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