Tuesday August 22nd 2017

“Love and Drowning”

There is something special on stage at Berwyn’s 16th Street Theater. It is a sharp, intimate look into people’s lives ( and perhaps, even deaths) in Will Dunne’s intriguing new play,”Love and Drowning”. “Love” is a story about a couple, Ella( The lovely and strong Molly Glynn) and Hank (deftly handled by Malcolm Callan) appear to have drowned in a boating accident and find themselves resuscitated, residing in some eerie institute in the middle of nowhere. They have a room with a TV and bed and a new sort of existence, Ella having seen the tunnel of light and Hank, not. Dunne’s exploration is not so much about the hereafter as we are never really sure if this is in fact “purgatory”, or heaven! Or in fact, if they did in fact pass on. There are several other characters also living in this “place”. Young Sunny ( a marvelous character played to perfection by Andy Lutz) a surfer dude who also drowned and saw the light, Ray Ann ( deliciously played by Cat Dean) and the Doctor ( a great comic turn by veteran Vincent Lonergan) who proves to be something he is not.

All of these characters are inmates at this “place” and each one during this two hour story, reveals something that will change the direction of their life ( or is it afterlife?). The stage is almost bare with a set that includes a few set pieces and a backdrop of slats of wood ( or so it seems) with lights spread out. Kurt Sharp’s set is designed to keep the scenes moving and to keep the audience’s focus on the action and of course Dunne’s words. Sharply directed by Artistic Director Ann Filmer who has a keen eye for getting the story told as written, this is a play that has several interpretations and each of the 49 patrons ( this is a small intimate space, perfect for story telling). Many will draw from their own life experiences as to the relationships that they see and what happens to each of the individuals in their “second chance” at life. One may ask if this is really about how couples become complacent in their lives, drowning day by day. But then again, each viewer may come away with a different interpretation. That is what makes this work special. Barry Bennet’s sound and Mac Vaughey’s lights add just the right touches to complete the picture that Filmer paints for us.

This is a small theater and so I suggest that you make your plans immediately- this is one heck of an experience with comic touches,romance and some deep meaning.”Love and Drowning” will continue at The 16th Street Theater, part of the North Berwyn Park District, located at 6420 West 16th Street ( just west of Austin Boulevard) throug October 27th ( where Ella will be played by Miranda Zola) with performances as follows:

Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 5 and 8:30 p.m.

The play runs two hours with an intermission)

Tickets are a mere $18 ( just a few dollars more than a movie for quality, thought provoking LIVE theater) and can be purchased at The Park District’s main building 1619 Wesley, by phone at 708-795-6704 or online at www.16thstreettheater.org

here is plenty of free parking on the street and a lot one block west of the theater

Student “rush” tickets are only $10 subject to availability on day of show only.

To learn what others are saying, go to my home page, click on Theatre In Chicago , then go to review round-up and click on “Love and Drwoning”

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