Energetic character work is provided by an eight-member ensemble that includes such assured actors as Steven Skybell, Jon DeVries and Steven Rattazzi. Amanda Quaid subtly traces how Galileo’s flowering daughter withers after his notoriety blights her romance with Nick Westrate’s fresh-faced suitor. In the drama’s most striking scene, Robert Dorfman bleakly depicts a liberal-minded Pope whose talk becomes more dogmatic as he is dressed in his oppressive robes of state.
Designer Oana Botez-Ban’s quasi-period costumes add some visual warmth to the play’s many scenes. Set designer Adrianne Lobel spins large spheres into the air or on the sides of the auditorium, with other discs serving as the central platform and as a background screen for projections. Ethereal music and sound design by Christian Frederickson and Ryan Rumery contribute to the production’s effectiveness.
“Galileo” continues through March 18 at Classic Stage Company, 136 E. 13th St., New York. Call (866) 811-4111 or visit www.classicstage.org.