Is your life a cautionary tale, or an example for others to follow? Are we identical to every other person on Earth, or are we separate individuals? Are we really significant, or are we nothing but a part of a story? Are all stories lies, or do some truths exist? To have a new beginning, must everything past be consumed? When you lose everything, is retaining a story necessary to go on? Are you simply what others see you as, or is there more to you? Is every action that you take performed because you simply had to?
These are some of the questions considered by playwright Kevin Kordis in his Wax Wings production of Grandma’s House. Using the familiar tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, he shows us that these two classical characters may not be too different after all. Their individual stories are intimately intertwined, and after a while, we realize that the Wolf is Red and Red is the Wolf, just as the original story had the Wolf and Grandma as One. Their only purpose is to perpetuate their singular story, and thus their two identities gradually merge into one. By the end of the play, we clearly see how Red IS the wolf.
Holly Schaff does an excellent job transforming Red from a young girl innocently bringing goodies to her grandmother to a person spun up in the yarn of the Wolf and her grandmother. She also plays the grandmother, and we all know what happens to that character. Christopher Cohen is also great as the almost-innocent Wolf and elucidator of why all our stories are so important. At the end, when he and red have exchanged roles, he appears as the innocent Woodsman, about to enter the ongoing story as prey with Red as the predator. Physical performer and puppeteer Julie Becker plays the perfect cat on the shelf at Grandma’s house, observing all things and expressing herself only when necessary. It was fun just to look at her attractive cat face.
Director Jennifer Reddish kept the pace moving well, and the sometimes-complex ideas clearly stated. An appropriate amount of blood gave us a good visceral feel for the physical details of the story. Is Free Will illusory? Are our lives just one big roller coaster ride on the tracks of Fate? Are we as individuals insignificant relative to the Big Picture (Story)? You may not change your views on Free Will and Determinism, but experiencing this play will certainly give you some interesting ideas to chew on!
Wednesdays through Sundays @ 7 PM until September 2nd
Matinee Sunday @ 2 PM September 2nd
The Factory Theater
791 Tremont Street Boston
Tickets @ http://www.waxwingsproductions.com