A brilliantly staged Amadeus at Chandler Studio

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When fine playwriting meets inspired acting and directing, the result is a show like the Production Company’s “Amadeus.”

It’s about jealousy, it’s about pure talent, it’s about social mores, but it’s really all about the perfectly composed music. Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning play tracks the vengeful machinations of Antonio Salieri, a composer whose jealousy of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart drives him to destroy the virtuoso’s reputation and ruin his life. The Production Company succeeds in fueling its production of tragedy with plenty of blood lust and passion.

Director August Viverito takes Shaffer’s gorgeous text to new artistic heights. Modern costuming, energetic acting and intense relationships between characters infuse the production with a shiny veneer and a sense of deep urgency. Patrick Stafford is so endearing in his childlike rendering of Mozart, he leaves our hearts exceedingly heavy at play’s end. As Salieri (a treacherous villain made human by the layered performance of Peter Swander) seeks to destroy the young virtuoso, we see him also secretly hold Mozart in the highest esteem. Unable to transform his utter awe into positive energy, Salieri’s envy claims Mozart’s career and eventually destroys Salieri’s soul.

Tragedy abounds here, but does not have the final say. Mozart’s music plays throughout, reminding us of his widely respected legacy.

Through August 28 at Chandler Studio Theatre. Visit www.theprodco.com

Amy Lyons is a professional freelance journalist and theatre critic, with a degree in Theatre Arts and English from UMass, Boston. She started her journalism career at The Boston Globe and is a member of the Drama Critics Circle. Her articles, theatre reviews and photos regularly appear in numerous publications, including the Beverly Press, Valley Life Magazine, the Santa Monica Mirror and www.nohoartsdistrict.com

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Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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