Friday's One Acts supremely entertaining
When reviewing the performance of Blair students in any activity or medium—be it sports, writing, theater, etc.—there's a good deal of pressure to use language that "talks up" Blazers. You use incredibly enthusiastic adjectives like "stellar" and "wonderful" and "heart-stopping," you go onto thesaurus websites to find even more when your personal lexicon of big-smile adjectives fails you. These are people you pass in the hallways and have classes with; the last thing you want to do is make them look bad, or even less than good.
The first play, "Naomi in the Living Room," begins the evening on a note of suburban hysteria. And not a subtle, lurking-behind-pleasantries hysteria—Natalie Behrends as the title character shrieks, cackles, writhes on the couch—does to the scene what Busta Rhymes has been known to do to a hot beat. Her psychosis, as it loudly unfolds, is to the following plays what a clamorous drum solo might be to the beginning of a rock song: attention seizing, a loud display of ability that announces more to come. Anabel Milton as her daughter-in-law is prodded to similar hysterics, Simon Kienitz-Kincade has a hilarious gender-dysphoria moment of his own. The set design for this play is about as intricate as it gets for the evening—a couch, a chair and a table with a stuffed penguin on it. Surreal human interactions are the focus, and they are left to shine brilliantly or simmer uncomfortably in the minimal environments onstage.
You've seen the characters in these plays before: New Jersey construction workers (Molly Beckett, Callie Gompf-Phillips and Ravyn Malatesta, who dissolve perfectly into their roles, so many beautiful "foists" and "lahwns" and "weeyahds"), medieval peasants, a trucker, a soldier, parents…talking monkeys. But nothing in the world of these plays is quite right, the not-quite-rightness so gleefully and perfectly executed it dares you not to smile. Directors Laura Kennedy-Long and Aaron Posner clearly know how to wring some visible joy from their performers, who all seem to be having a good time—even the monkeys forced to try and recreate "Hamlet," the parents of a child who has urinated on an expensive cake.
Friday's One Acts were superb. There was not one that didn't have me, and everyone else in the room, cackling like a psychotic. It was a disarmingly funny and charming sucker-punch of a show, and a supremely well-done by everyone involved.
Dylan Ahunhodjaev. Hi everyone--my name is Dylan Ahunhodjaev. The first name is Welsh (but I'm not Welsh) and the last name is Uzbek (I'm Uzbek, from Uzbekistan, or at least my dad is). My parents met in the Peace Corps. It's a cute story, remind me to ... More »