anjanette-hall Anjanette Hall, who plays the wide-eyed new member of a string quartet, at the opening-night reception at the Two River Theater on Saturday. Former ‘Cosby Show’ star Geoffrey Owens, below, plays the cellist. (Click to enlarge)


Opus,’ a piquant drama about a fractious string quartet that’s commanding the mainstage at Red Bank’s Two River Theater Company through November 14, is getting some positive ink.

In the Star-Ledger, theater critic Peter Filicihia calls Michael Hollinger‘s play, which focuses on the effect that a shattered romantic relationship has on the quartet, “bittersweet but delicious.”

“Director Matthew Arbour has orchestrated the 90-minute show with loving care,” Filichia writes.

The director, originally from Little Silver, has “also found a sterling cast to play all five musicians. Many theatergoers will wonder if the actors are actually playing their instruments. (No, they’re not — but that the question must be asked shows how convincing all five are in using their bows.)”

In the Asbury Park Press, theater maven (and redbankgreen contributor) Tom Chesek writes that while the play is very much about music — Hollinger is a former classical musician —”‘Opus’ is also about the processes of creation and collaboration; the messy mechanics of democracy and the crooked calculus of pure dumb luck. Turn off the music and you’ve still got a sharply written, frequently funny study of the misdirected energies, jealousies and lunacies that alternately spur us on and trip us up.”

Chesek calls the play “a fascinating look at ‘how art sausage is made’ — and a good example of the sort of contemporary work that can feel right at home on the Red Bank stage.”