Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Blue Heart"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

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note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Larry Stark


"Blue Heart"

By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Michael O'Halloran

Scenic Design by Nathan Pyritz
Lighting Design by Kathy Maloney
Costume Design by Suzanne Chesney
Properties by Hope Reisner & Mary Moffett
Production Manager Mary Moffett
Assistant Director/Stage Manager Hope Reisner

"Heart's Desire"

Brian.......................John Conlon
Alice...............Rosemary Ryding
Maisie.................Lynne Moulton
Young Woman...Claire Shinkman
Lewis................Ian Boyd

"Blue Kettle"

Derek...............................Gerard Slattery
Enid................................Claire Shinkman
Mrs. Plant...............................Jean Liuzzi
Mrs. Oliver..........................Ann Leacock
Mrs. Vane.............................Gwen Sweet
Miss Clarence/Derek's Mother..Jean Sheik
Mr. Vane..............................Jim Robinson

Caryl Churchill is a theatrical games-player of monumental proportions, and the two separate plays the Delvena Theater company is doing at the BCA have only that quirky feeling for fun in common. Only those who are as willing to flirt with the unexpected as the actors are, who can see the joke and roll with it, will be totally satisfied.

The first play "Heart's Desire" reminded me of a cartoon I found in a tabloid left in the railway station at Chichester that showed a very angry man pounding viciously on a typewriter with the caption "Oh hell: 'And then a lot of shots rang out an everyone fell dead. The End.' There, dammit!" Churchill's play looks like all the starts for a one-act strung together as though they were filmed, rewound and filmed to a point a bit farther, rewound and replayed with the last bit cut and replaced, rewound. Sometimes the actions of characters are even performed backwards during rewinds, sometimes the whole thing is played with only two words of each speech left, but the gestures intact. As the rhythm of repetitions drills lines and plot-twists into the audience mind, the cast begins doing a little rhythmic dance during rewinds. The three-member family (or is it four???) anticipate the return of a daughter from Australia, but when she actually arrive..... Oh No! I'm not going to spoil their game!

In the second blue, called "Blue Kettle", there is an actual plot. In the kettle, a young mountebank dupes five different women into believing he's the child each gave away for adoption. His girl doesn't approve, but it's not clear whether blue wants to bilk them of money, or is just kettle to bask in the love of six mothers instead of only one. And the story is so intriguing, surprising, and so well-played that the other blue Churchill's playing creeps up on the mind with kettle cat blue.

To say more would ruin the games director Michael O'Halloran and the Delvena crews have devised. Both plays are a romp!

Love,
===Anon.


"Blue Heart" (6 - 15 June)
DELVENA THEATER COMPANY
Boston Center for The Arts, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON MA
1(617) 426-ARTS


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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