Agostino, to the extraordinary credit of Guy Sanville, who plays him, does not give off even the faintest echo of anyone in the pantheon of famous Italian-American icons: no Soprano, no Corleone, no Jersey Shore. He's 100 percent original, and it's great to see Sanville, the artistic director of the Purple Rose who rarely acts in his own productions.
A Stone Carver, which runs through March 10, is directed by Purple Rose veteran actor Rhiannon Ragland, but one senses she used a light touch on Sanville. Matthew David is somewhat eclipsed by him in the blander and less well drawn peacemaking role. Charlyn Swarthout, on the other hand, blooms--somewhat creepily--under Agostino's rump-swatting patronage. By the end, after much quaffing of Agostino's sturdy peasant wine, and unbuttoning of clothing, Agostino and Janice have made peace. In fact they seem to approve of each other a little more than is necessary, and dirty minds like mine will leave the theatre imagining a lurid sequel.
[Originally published in March, 2012.]