Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SecondStory’s ‘Amadeus’ slant has the touch

The facts: the Court of Joseph II; Vienna, Austria, 1783-1825; Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, two composers of music – one had the ear; the other, the touch.
The slant on the facts: SecondStory Repertory’s interpretation of the relationship between Mozart and Salieri as scripted by Peter Shaffer and titled “Amadeus.”
The focus of the slant: a dramatically stylized fiction of the story Salieri might tell audiences today if he were to explain his relationship with Mozart.
All of that is in place before the curtain goes up on this roller coaster ride up, down and around the heaven and hell of a first-class mind in torment. My advice: Be prepared. It is worth the effort.
Gerald B. Browning evolves a Salieri from crybaby and sour grapes to a Miltonic Satan, to a pathetic penitent wallowing in self-pity, and to a mature man who has come to grips with himself. Irritation, rage, cunning, comedy, tragedy – Browning covers all the bases. His is a spellbinding performance.
As expected, Brandon Ryan makes his Mozart into a clown with both a genius for taking your breath away and the humanity of an innocent victimized. The surprise is the down-to-earth quality. Ryan’s is a Mozart with whom you laugh, feel, suffer and triumph.
Sound and lighting effects enhance. Excerpts from Mozart embellish.
Forget Director Corey McDaniel’s noting this production as a “compelling story of mediocrity and genius.” His guiding hand takes capable charge of much, much more.
Reactions? Comments? Email Dale Burrows at or
WHEN: Through April 29
WHERE: SecondStory Repertory, 16587 NE 74th St., Redmond
TICKETS: $25; call 425-881-6777 or visit