Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
John Kolvenbach's becoming a player's playwright. He crafts scenes that often resemble a three-ring circus. In his Love Song, for example, he juggles actors with rapid-fire dialogue and makes things balloon: a simple multiple-choice personality test, for example, when taken at face value, expands into life-and-death issues. Harry, wife Joan, and her withdrawn brother Beane live literal lives. Everything is what it is (and, to bullish Joan's way of thinking, barely that). But when Molly, an unexpected intruder, attempts to rob Beane's apartment (which is as empty as his heart), light bulbs click above the trio's heads: romance blooms and re-blooms, a melon inspires, and the world becomes chocked with poetry, for a while. If you don't count its critique of lives so vapid they can only thrive on fantasy - Harry and Joan don't even know how to play hooky, for criminey's sake! - the play's a fragile whimsy. The Cygnet Theatre production, directed by Sean Murray, however, is a hoot. A quartet of actors tear into their roles, relishing Kolvenbach's zany lines and daffy business (and performing with stopwatch precision at that). Francis Gercke makes Beane an Ugly Duckling: after having been mute for years, he suddenly swans and can't stop talking or appreciating (or evoking laughter). Daren Scott, as Harry, and Jessa Watson, as Joan, showcase their comic gifts as a couple so repressed that, when they open up, find themselves in undiscovered territory. Jessica John, who also designed the apt costumes, makes Molly a nifty hybrid: an impish recidivist.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, February 22, 2009
- Sundays, 2pm & 7pm
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm