Flash Review: Balm in Gilead

About a week ago, a cast member of Balm in Gilead described it to me as a show that “some people are going to love and some people are going to absolutely hate.” Although I know it’s my responsibility to come up with my own descriptions, this one is about as accurate as it gets.

I’ll begin by saying that on the aforementioned love-hate spectrum for this show, I fall firmly into the former end. It’s not often that I get the pleasure of going to see a show that truly surprises me, and makes me feel as though I’ve never seen anything like it before. However, some people don’t like to be surprised. In fact, in the row that I was sitting in, there were no fewer than four people who felt that way — a middle-aged woman who fell asleep within the first 10 minutes, and a family of three that left at intermission. But I don’t think that the KCDC Powers That Be mounted this production without anticipating those reactions. Balm in Gilead isn’t a show that tries to please the visitors who came for Family Weekend; instead, it asks them why they wanted to be pleased in the first place.

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Do it tonight: Balm in Gilead

Wouldn’t you rather see this stage with ACTORS on it?

Starting tonight, the Kenyon College Dramatic Club presents Lanford Wilson’s Balm in Gilead, the first main stage show of the year and a guaranteed jolly good time. The play gives an inside look at the various patrons of a New York diner, including a drug pusher and a whore with a heart of gold. Romance, bar fights, directed by Ben Viccellio…what more could you ask for? Also, if you’re willing to miss out on the magic of opening night, this show is a great addition to your family weekend itinerary (because there are only so many times you can follow your parents around the Gund Gallery while nodding thoughtfully at the artwork). And if you also plan on going to the Kokes concert on Friday night, never fear! The good folks backstage will hold the curtain. To buy tickets, call the Bolton box office at 740-427-5546, or just come to the theater an hour before the performance. Students tickets are $2! What a steal!

  • What: Balm in Gilead
  • When: Thursday-Saturday, 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: the Bolton Theater