First off, I think I should begin with a disclaimer: I love this play. It’s weird. It’s upsetting. It’s hard to understand. But I love it. In one hour and with two characters, Oleanna gives you a crash course in a subject that playwright David Mamet might call “How to Be Super Profound…profound” (if you read the play, you’ll find that the guy is very fond of repetition, ellipses, italics…and pretty much nothing else). KCDC’s production of the play, directed by Doug Healy ’13, is the senior thesis of Meg Sutter and Harry Hanson.
The nice thing about watching a senior thesis in acting is that you know you’re in for an excellent performance. It might not be perfect. But there’s no way it can be bad. This weekend’s performance of Medea is the senior thesis of Faith Servant (who plays the title role) and Josh Henderson-Cox (who directs), and I’m happy to report that it is anything but bad. As a matter of fact, it really is quite good.
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.
Noah Heinrich ’12 comes to us with this flash review of Icarus and Aria, which you can see again tonight or tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. in the Bolton Theater.
As an on-and-off reviewer for the Collegian, I prided myself on being “the mean one.” I made refusing to pull my punches a trademark, and sought to point out any problem that I thought truly made a negative impact on my viewing experience. I write all this so that when I say that I could not find any real flaw with KCDC’s newest offering, Icarus and Aria, I want you to realize just how serious I am being. Icarus and Aria is unlike any KCDC show I’ve seen at the Bolton. Continue reading
Editor’s Note: This review comes to us from Katherine Baker ’14.
Opening the program for The Baltimore Waltz while sitting in the Hill Theater on Friday as I waited for the play to begin, I was surprised to find a letter accompanying the usual information on director, cast and crew, the command to silence all cell phones and the like.
The letter was from Carl Vogel to his sister, Paula, expressing his wishes for his funeral ceremony as he slowly dies of AIDS. Soon after the death of her brother, Paula Vogel wrote The Baltimore Waltz. The absurd situations of the play carry the same tone of her brother’s letter: humor in the face of death, comfort in the face of tragedy. Continue reading