Underneath the Lintel

Cinnabar Arts, Petaluma
Runs through February 17, 2019

John Shillington in Underneath the Lintel. Photo by Victoria Von Thal

A lonely librarian whose life is circumscribed by the mundane activities and petty workaday concerns of the small Dutch library where he works makes an unlikely and astonishing discovery: checking in the returned books from the overnight depository one morning, he finds a weary-looking Baedeker travel guide that was overdue—not just a few days, or few weeks overdue, but 113 years. The surprise of this excess leads the fastidious librarian on a search for the patron who returned the book, using meager clues—a search that takes him around the globe and ultimately changes his life. Cinnabar Theater is presenting a revival of the production originally staged at MainStage West starring Sonoma favorite John Shillington in the one-man show.

Presented as a kind of lecture with chalkboard and slide projections, the premise promises an intriguing conundrum as we follow clue upon clue in the librarian’s search. How could the book have been checked out for over a century? Where has it been all this time and who returned it? Ordinary explanations fail as the clues deepen the search and become a kind of obsession. The librarian abandons his job, feigning illness in order to follow increasingly complex and even older clues, connecting dots until the dots seem to point to one answer. But it’s an unbelievable answer, one that defies rational thought and demands a leap into a world of belief that the librarian has previously avoided. …

To continue reading about this production, see the full review at Talkin’Broadway:
Underneath the Lintel