Saturday November 18th 2017

“Icarus”

Somewhat recommended BoHo Theatre states in its “Mission” that they desire to do art for art’s sake and to challenge convention. For the most part they have adhered to this but in their latest production “Icarus” written by Edwin Sanchez, I feel they may have missed the target. Part of what makes live theater so great is that the audience has an opportunity to watch a story come alive and knows that each performance will differ from the one last night and more than likely from the next one as well. Bringing a play to life is similar to an artist creating a work on canvass. The stage and the set are our canvass and while P.Marston Sullivan uses the small stage area at Theater Wit to the best of his ability, he is somewhat limited by the size of the stage and the set designed by Sally Weiss. Her set is two beach houses and some sandy areas, with stairs and decks that are very plain.Most of the set is just there ,as they are very plain oceanfront houses and do not have the realistic feel or look. I would think that even with a somewhat limited budget, a little more detail could have been paid to making these homes appear to be those of wealthier people. I will say that Christopher Kriz has some marvelous sound and Diane D. Fairchild’s lighting design captures the feeling of where our characters are supposed to be and with a limited budget Cassy Schillo has put together some wonderful props to add to the overall picture.

The story, ah yes, the story! One might want to call this five actors in search of a dream as Sanchez has created five “losers” who all come together on these sandy shores. Altagracia ( a striking performance by Brenda  Arellano) is a disfigured young lady, who along with her brother is chasing his dream to be a swimmer who was able to swim far enough out to hold the sun in his hand. Primitivo ( deftly handled by young Nicholas Gamboa) is in a wheelchair, which is never truly explained, but can use his legs to get to the water. They have a follower, Mr. Ellis (Tim Chiola) who carries along with him a suitcase filled wilh supposed dreams along with his past, which can never be forgotten, but carried forever.  As they break into this empty beach house and settle in another stranger appears, Beau ( a strong performance by Luke Daigle) who wears a ski mask and agrees to join them but from a distance. The fifth character, the faded star who resides next door, the sultry blonde known as The Gloria ( a sort of comic relief character well played by Heather Townsend, who in reality is far to lovely to ever pull off the faded star in appearance) who feels that her star will come back if she can just get represented, no matter who she must bed to do so ( but only when the sun goes down).

All of these people have somewhat dark pasts and very little future. Beau , while masked does spend a night with The Gloria and Altagracia, thinking he must be disfigured as she is, finds herself falling in love with him as well. When it is revealed that he is not the “ugly boy” that they thought he was, things change. When the story is revealed about why he is running and what he is running  from, we start to have feelings for him. In fact, one might say that Sanchez may want to take another look at his story and instead of making it 90 minutes, perhaps make it into two acts. I know this is not something you hear me say about plays, but I think Sanchez was on the road to having his characters become more human and t allow them to really express their inner selves and find what it is each is seeking might just take a little more time. The ending is a mix of drama and sentimentality and although we feel sorry for some of the characters, we do find ourselves happy for two of them, but the end comes to swiftly for some and never truly concludes for others. I would hope that one day in the future, BoHo or another company reboots a new and updated version of a story that has some real potential to make audiences feel that yearning for that which you cannot have is not asimportant as finding friendship and or love.

“Icarus” will continue at Theater Wit located at 1229 West Belmont ( in Theater 1) through July 24th with performances on Thursday,Friday and Saturday eveings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $18-$25 , a bargain for live theater  and can be purchased by calling 773-975-8150 or online at www.BoHoTheatre.com

Theater Wit houses several theater companies and to help you save money, they offer a Flex Pass that allows you to purchase tickets for any production in their building. One pass allows you up to 10 shows, or two people can enjoy 5 shows or just bring 9 guests with you to one show- $200 buys this pass, which makes the cost per production or ticket $20- call 773-975-8150 for details or visit www.theaterwit.org

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