Flux Sunday, Apil 13th

While much of the dialogue in the theatrosphere justly involves revolutionary change, it is often little incremental break throughs that give me the most pleasure. Flux Sunday regularly reveals such break throughs – the right actor, the right director, the right role – and some new unconsidered possibility opens up. The picture here is Brian Pracht from our 2007 retreat at Little Pond, working on his play The Misogynist. And at this last Flux Sunday, he gave a performance in Dog Show that revealed possibilities new to me – of Brian as a performer, of David Ian Lee as a writer, Jeremy Basescu as a director, and of that strange pride we sometimes have in our biggest mistakes.

We began with Jeremy’s new comedy, Calling CQ, about a President who is obsessed, perhaps justifiably, with an imminent Martian invasion. Highlights of this round table reading included Richard Watson’s right wing reporter Storm and Jane Taylor’s no nonsense paper editor Ruth.

We then had the pleasure of returning to Kate Marks antic comedy Bird House. One thing we have learned about this wildly inventive play – if you think too much about it, the play sags; but if you just live absolutely in each individual moment, the audience will follow you down the strangest journeys. Returning to the play was reigning Bird House champion Nancy Franklin as Rita, with a comically committed performance by Felicia Hudson as the militant Myra. The best line reading of the day, however, belonged to Katherine Burger’s “breakfast is so cruel and I never want to have it again”.

We continued through the second half of the second scene of Dog Show, where husband and wife team Candice and Frank are seducing, encouraging and/or destroying Frank’s high school buddy, Edward. This scene featured the aforementioned Brian’s reveal that he may have raped a girl in college; and the nuances of disgust, denial, power and pride ran beautifully through his subtle performance.

As a welcome appetizer to the upcoming Imagination Compact, Joe Mathers staged Rob Ackerman’s riff on Quince, Dear China. This hilarious and tender portrayal of 3 techies building a window display for a hardware store is lit up by the characters’ shared love of stories; and Ken Glickfeld found the touching human heart as Quince, a playwright who gets a little embarrassed by how much he loves writing plays.

Andrew and Claire’s marriage has been falling under increasing distress due to dislocation, childlessness, but above all, Andrew’s indiscretion with a prostitute in Thailand. The secret of that indiscretion is gleefully revealed by Sally, the wife of Andrew’s boss. Spurned as a friend by the high-minded Claire, Sally’s revenge plunges their marriage into literal darkness. Kate’s delicate direction and Kelly O’Donnell’s gleeful Saly were among the highlights of this dark patch in this beautiful play.

Only one more Sunday before we break for Midsummer!

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