note: entire contents copyright 1998 by Larry Stark
by Jeffry Herman
Directed by Jeffry Herman
Fight Choreography by Braun Rosen
Sound Design by Katt Hernandez
This is the first time The Mirror has reviewed a show BEFORE it opens. Jeffry Herman's "Damn Your Eyes" was one of eleven new plays presented at the Playwrights' Platform Summer Festival of New Plays, and I voted it the best of the bunch. The word that comes to mind when I think of the show is "neat" --- two very odd, mismatched characters are thrown together with differing expectations, argue, question, and end up understanding each other. So what if one of them is a demon the other one has called up, ready to sell a soul for one single wish? Maybe that's a meet-cute, but people are people, right?
I expect that the production opening next Thursday for two week-ends will have the same excellent cast. Jason Taylor and Michele Markarian worked in other plays at the festival, but obviously enjoyed bringing these two characters to life. The demon is called because the human is desperate. Emotional upsets have always resulted in a poltergeist-effect: dishes or glasses fly spontaneously out of cupboards, and lovers have difficulty adjusting. So of course the wish is for true love, right?
The demon is of course impatient, but people don't often get an opportunity to talk to a real, live demon, and so while one of them is interested in knowing more about what the work is like, the other is interested in deciding just what kind of true-love will fit the bill. And the answer to that problem will surprise audiences as much as it does the protagonists.
The playwright directed the show, and perhaps some of the snap in the lines came from the nose-to-nose no-quarter confrontations of his two actors. Their growing curiosity about one another is punctuated by raging confrontations and delightfully subtle revelations. It's a small, neat play, but every detail is neatly turned, and it deserves its wider audience. Perhaps you should be a member of that audience.
This member loved it.