Director Savell has done an outstanding job of tempering these two literary lions into creatures of genuine warmth and humanity.
Amick Byram, who has directed several productions at Vanguard, delivers a superbly layered performance as Lewis, the confirmed intellectual bachelor whose views on the Almighty are challenged by his personal developments. His gradual affection for the visiting American is finely tuned and splendidly accomplished.
Taking on the task of Joy, the self-described Jewish-Communist-Christian, is Susan K. Berkompas, producing artistic director at Vanguard. It’s a marriage made in theatrical heaven as Berkompas (with a fine New York accent) penetrates the snobbish world of English intelligentsia in a bravura performance.
Paul Eggington’s unit setting allows for swift alterations, aided by James Mulligan’s artwork, David Pecoraro’s lighting effects and Lia Hansen’s 1950s period costumes.
“Shadowlands” is one of those rare plays that touches the head and the heart with equal pressure. The production at Vanguard explores its myriad subtleties beautifully.