Author: Margret Echeverria

Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors

Lucy (Jordan Boatman) the woman for whom all the trouble is made, is Helen of Troy gorgeous.  With heaving bossom, she is such a master of physical comedy that we and all the “men” on the stage are afraid to take our eyes off of her.  Tempered with patience for all the chaos around her, the love she bears in her heart is co-committed to her chosen family, banishing the boring codependent Lucy other productions have given us; Boatman offers a Lucy in control of her life. 

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There’s a mimicry scene between Ohashi and Peyman that is quite chilling.  Clare may harden in this chill or she might just be surrendering to madness.  I honestly don’t know as we are left to interpret much of the show on our own.  I’m very confused as to why Del is using Clare as his mule.  It does not seem necessary to messenger this package loaded with metaphor and not deliver it himself.  Given the brevity of the piece, an explanation of this choice would have been welcome. 

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We witness unexpected acts of kindness like Scott heating up Sahar’s couscous in the kitchen even though Sahar has been chatting forever and not doing a lick of work.  Prakash speaks her funny heart stinger lines a little fast at times, which is unfortunate because we like her so much, we want to hear them.  Both characters work out boundaries with each other and, in the process, make willing sacrifices with their eyes opened to each other’s humanity.  But one final sacrifice is made blindly because tomorrow is unknown to them  – and because we know, it shatters us.  I am reminded that the tragedy of the following day set our species back decades in our path to enlightenment and I got that longing to go back.

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What Else Is True?

The show is refreshingly written and acted so honestly that it might be too painful if it weren’t so often very funny.  What is further genius is that parts of the show are not written at all.  Rather, they are totally improvised.

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Vermont starts with a naked happy sweet-faced boy running into the kitchen first thing in the morning.  Free, white and in his 20’s, Paul (Rob Riordan) stretches his body upwards to reach for the sun coming through the windows as the more conservative audience members gasp just a little.  It’s so rare to see a penis on stage!  Fun, I say!  Riordan gives us the most innocent and kind character in the play.  He is pure love, very helpful, compliant and a safe companion for the female characters in the show.  That is, until he is confronted with the inherent patriarchy in the commune’s structure and he misses the opportunity to learn from the feminine perspective and act on it.

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