Tuesday November 21st 2017

“A Body of Water”

WATER11-296x400I am always in awe when I enter the Red Twist Theatre, that little “black box” on Bryn Mawr Avenue- partly because they are able to re-imagine this venue with each new production and partly because of the talent in their ensemble. While the stage area of the current production Lee Blessing’s “A Body of Water” is greater than many, they are still able to get around 46 people into the seating area, with decent sight lines for all. This is a strange 90 minute play. It begins as a light comedy, as we meet Avis ( another delightful performance by Jan Graves) and Moss ( the always reliable Brian Parry). They are in their robes and starting their day in a home surrounded by water. Where the comedy begins is that neither of them know where they are, who they are or what type of relationship they might have. The initial scene goes to the fact that they slept together ( in the same bed) and are now in robes that they do not recognize in a secluded, but lovely home, that they have never seen and do not know if they are together or how they got to this place.

The dialogue between these two characters is divine and the comic touches a delight.Mary Reynard’s slick direction uses the small space to full advantage and the set  (Nick Mozak) gives us the feeling that we are in a much larger and spacious home surrounded by water. As they play with each other, trying to imagine how they got there, a third character arrives at the house, Wren ( a solid performance by Stella Martin) who as the story unfolds is other than she purports to be. This is where some may get confused by Blessing’s “mystery puzzle play”, as we go from one story to another, learning more about these two people, or in fact, all three and their actual relationship. Blessing , in his telling of the story, wants us to feel the emotion and the story instead of understanding it, and as a side note, when it comes to an end, many in my audience were left confused and unfulfilled.

 

This is a story with many turns and twists as Wren does whatever she can to help these two, who lose their memory every day in to reality. She does so with fibs and lies, hoping that one of her little tricks will get these two back into normalcy. There are many moments that will shock you, many that will delight you and of great importance, three wonderful characters built by three strong actors. By the end of the 90 minutes ( no intermission) , you may, however, not feel as you were given the ending you had hoped for, or even thought was Blessing’s direction. You will see three people who due to a circumstance do whatever they can to make it through the day, Wren, even more than Avis and Moss. Blessing is trying to show us that in our world, where nothing is certain, having a good moment, any good moment, may make that particular day one of joy, so why not enjoy each day, one day at a time!                                                                                           WATER12-400x224

The visual effects of this production are well done as well, although they had some back lighting problems tonight, the over all production out weighed a little lighting problem. Nick Gajary’s sound, Jeff Shields’ props,and Olivia Leah Baker’s costumes along with the lighting design by Christopher Burpee all helped to bring the total picture to life on the very tiny stage at Redtwist. Once again, the script is not the best by Blessing, but the direction and the acting along with the technical aspects make this a production that is worth the trip to the Edgewater neighborhood.

“A Body of Water” will continue at Redtwist Theatre, located at 1044 West Bryn Mawr Avenue through April 7th with a performance schedule as follows:

Thursday,Friday and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $25-$30 ( seniors and students save $5) and can be purchased by calling 773-728-7520 or by e-mail at reserve@redtwist.org or you can visit www.redtwist.org

Parking is always a bit of a problem, but there are meters available or you can valet at one of the local eateries on Bryn Mawr, or take the Red Line and exit at Bryn Mawr and you are one block from the theater.

to see what others say, visit www.theatreinchicago.com , go to Review Round-up and click at “A Body of water”

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