Home » Uncategorized » Dream Barons

Dream Barons

Dream on, Baransky! Review by JEN BUSH

                Dreams are a series of ideas, images and sensations that occur in a person’s mind during sleep.  They are involuntary unless your name is Jonathan Baransky.  Jonathan has been experiencing serious bouts of anxiety.  When you’re juggling an old flame, a new flame and your best friend’s wife, it’s no wonder that psychiatric assistance is needed.  Jonathan attends sessions with Dr. Smithson who prescribes an experimental groundbreaking treatment in the form of a pill called Dreamasil.  When a serious anxiety attack hits, Jonathan is supposed to take a pill.  The pill will kick in immediately causing Jonathan to have a dream.  He is directed to pay careful attention to the dreams because each one of them will have an important message for him.  All three women in Jonathan’s life are making commitment demands on him which he vehemently resists.  Just about every time he gets together with these women, he is highly stressed out prompting a dream sequence after he ingests a pill.


Dream on, Baransky! has a lot going for it.  A strong cast, a unique story, fabulous song and dance numbers, gorgeous costumes and inventive lighting by Shani Colleen Murfin all add up to a quality theatrical experience.  At its core, it’s a show about an immature player who is poorly navigating relationships.  Thanks to the creative playwrighting skills of Dale Baron and Rich Baron, the story is told in a wildly inventive way.  Every well-crafted character has a colorful personality.  Several characters use multiple accents in the show to make things more interesting.  The cleverly written dream engineers were a nice touch that added to the surreal quality of the show.  They were the characters behind the scenes of every dream sequence.  It was like a play within a play because they were directing the action, setting out the props and acting in the dreams while having stories of their own to tell.  Even the talented Musical Director/Accompanist (Michael Raftery) participates in the show as a silent character with an animated face.  It’s a fun fanciful story that serves up themes of dating, friendship and mental health.

                The cast made up of talented actors from all over the globe was a dream!  You might not like the character of Jonathan Baransky but you will love his portrayal by Joseph Monseur.  He carried the show like Atlas carries the world.  He can act, sing, dance and has a knack for physical comedy.  The three leading ladies, Jennifer, Lyla and Suzie played by Alisa Mironova, Marie-Louise Boisnier and Sky Spallone all stunned in their portrayals of the bamboozled love interests.  Sometimes being over the top works and it worked for Jeffrey Jaafar Laraichi who was hilarious as Suzie’s husband Frank.  Anita Moreno gave a fun zany spin to her overzealous character of Dr. Smithson.   Kudos to Amber Brookes for taking on SEVEN different characters with a range of accents.  She made every character she played unique and fun.  Reagen O’Reilly played by Elizah Hill was the most likeable character in the play.  Ms. Hill gave Reagen such a caring spirit with a side of spunk.  Dustin Pazar delighted as the quirky Commander Ted.  You’ll cheer for Quinn Nguyen when you see her wonderful portrayal of cheerleader Patsy Purity.  It’s hard to stand out among such a skilled cast but Isaias Badilla managed to do it in his role of Kazz-Nova.  He’s funny, charismatic and has a very flexible and expressive face.  Not only did Karolina Larion give a dazzling performance of Starlet Darlene Winters but she choreographed the show as well.  The dance numbers were exquisite.  David Allard took on three roles of Boss, Sebastian and Jules and did a fine job with each.  Billy Gillen was memorable as an imaginative Genie. 

                Costume designer Cole Hurley took great care to outfit the cast in a stylish and funky assortment of dazzling colorful threads.  Under the keen direction of Jake Minter, the cast utilized the two level play space of the well-appointed set.

There were a few things that I felt could have been different to make the play even better.  I would suggest trying to shorten the play.  The story could easily have been told in less than three hours without compromising any aspect of the production.  Though this play is all about dreams, the audience was saturated with dream sequences.   I also envisioned a different ending.  I think the main character received a generous conclusion considering his indiscretions.  Overall, Dream on, Baransky! is a whimsically entertaining energetic show.  The audience loved it as evidenced by their enthusiastic cheers and well-deserved standing ovation. 

The landmark American Theatre of Actors has been bringing quality productions to the stage for 47 years.  They give new artists a voice and a venue to develop their work in a supportive and creative environment.  They chose wisely with Dream on, Baransky!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: