note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Beverly Creasey
If the point of theater (and some would argue that all theater is political) is to shake you out of your complacency, then BLACKBIRD is the play for you. Scottish playwright David Harrower wrote the provocative piece for the Edinburgh Festival but after seeing SpeakEasy Stage’s stellar production, I can’t imagine a Scottish version. BLACKBIRD (playing through March 21st) seems so thoroughly American!
Eric Levenson’s empty, dirty conference room set has the kind of fluorescent lights (designed by Jeff Adelberg) which make everything too bright, so bright that they hurt your eyes. From the get-go you know this will be an unflinching look at someone’s life.
That someone is Bates Wilder in a tour de force performance as a tortured soul who thought his unhappy past was behind him. But someone he never wanted to see again has tracked him down and we’re in for a disturbing ride. Marianna Bassham plays a woman desperate for closure…or is it revenge…or maybe redemption. You’ll have to see director David R. Gammons’ taut, harrowing production to find out the how and why of this shocking reunion.