By Raphael Badagliacca
Are we more than our bodies? We must be. Because something is having this feeling that our bodies have been taken from us.
From classic times, audiences were meant to experience theater. “Fruit Trilogy” is an experience.
The experience breaks down along gender lines. I suppose young boys who were abused or soldiers marching off to doomed battles feel thrust into a reality machine that processes them as bodies only. By giving voice to what may be extreme cases, the play speaks to aspects of what must be every woman’s daily experience. To what degree, each woman in the audience will reach her conclusion, while the men can empathize, and possibly be illuminated. There is poetry, suffering, humor, and the hope of deliverance here — that is the experience of “Fruit Trilogy.”
The play is made up of one dialog and two monologues. “Pomegranate” is a dialog between two illuminated heads who cannot see their bodies or each other. They are items on a shelf in a store, to be evaluated by shoppers and purchased or not. They are of different mindsets. One of the heads is less accepting of the dire circumstances of her situation. In fact, the word “circumstances” plays a crucial part in the dialog, as does the word “accurate.” The heads proceed to have an ethical debate as to whether “circumstances” distort or reveal the true nature of a person, the most extreme of circumstances being the threat of death. “Accurate” says the head who introduces the word, is what is; in other words, the truth. This has a timely feeling. The appearance of the pomegranate has always been the one thing they had once agreed upon as the sign of a new beginning.
“Avocado” (Kiersey Clemons) takes place in a dark, horizontal space that could be the hull of a ship. There is water and fish imagery. The monologist confesses to a fear of fishes. Her father was a fisherman. She has fond memories of him and one young boy, but these are rare moments. Slave and prisoner terminology dominate her state of mind. Her descriptions of sex are detailed and denigrating, enough to cause an irreparable mind/body split. Her only pleasure is the light that sometimes streams through the narrow windows of her confines heralding the arrival of what she calls “the angel whores.” She dreams of “Asylum” – a word she clearly does not understand we can tell from her usage – except she knows it is something good. We want to rescue her.
“Coconut” (Liz Mikel)is all about oil, at least in the beginning. We are introduced to the sacred bath rituals of a woman with a large personality. She is charismatic. She is funny. She is unafraid. She has suffered all of the slings that come with the territory of being a woman. We believe in her suffering. But she has weathered it and come out the other side. The character and the actress draw us in. We can no longer avoid the experience. We stand at first awkwardly. “You are the messenger of your own deliverance.” The curtain is lifted. We know we are in a theater. Then comes the invitation to liberate.
by Eve Ensler
Directed by Mark Rosenblatt
With Kiersey Clemons, Liz Mikel
Scenic design: Mark Wendland; lighting design: Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew; costume design: Andrea Lauer; sound design: Matt Hubbs; casting: Karie Koppel; produced by Tony Montonieri; production stage manager: Katie Ailinger; assistant stage manager: Mary Cate Mangum.
Lucille Lortel Theater 121 Christopher Street
Tickets: Click here
REMAINING PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
Friday, June 8, 8:00 PM; Saturday, June 9, 3:00 & 8:00 PM; Friday, Tuesday, June 12, 7:00 PM; Wednesday, June 13, 7:00 PM; Thursday, June 14, 7:00 PM; Friday June 15, 8:00 PM; Saturday, June 16, 3:00 & 8:00 PM; Tuesday, June 19, 7:00 PM; Wednesday, June 20, 7:00 PM; Thursday, June 21, 7:00 PM; Friday, June 22, 8:00 PM; Saturday, June 23, 3:00 & 8:00PM.