Thursday, May 26, 2005

Theater: Psychic Life of Savages

Believe it or not, I have these other interests outside of knitting. For instance, I see at least a dozen plays a year. I decided this week to try to write about these plays. So here's my first shot at it.

On May 20, spouse-o and I went to the opening of Psychic Life of Savages at the Pear Avenue Theatre, in Mountain View. The show was directed by my sister-in-law, Rebecca. The Pear is a very small theater which produces very penetrating, intimate theater. The actors have to stay connected to each other and the scene even though the audience is only 6 feet away. I think this closeness and the very high quality of acting at the Pear makes for some wonderful, moving theater experiences

Psychic Life of Savages uses the first names of famous poets Sylvia, Ted, Anne and Robert without tying itself to complete biographical realism. Playwright Amy Freed wrote all the poetry, using themes, styles & language found in the original poetry, but amplified, modified, so you can see simultanously the truth, beauty and pain of the poetry and its ridiculous side as well. Nearly every time I laughed at this quite funny show, I had a feeling of nervousness.. "wait.. that's not funny, is it? you can't laugh at that, can you?"

All the actors in this show could (and some do) appear on larger stages. I was particularly drawn to Jennifer Erdmann as Sylvia and Kevin J. Kelley as Ted. Jennifer would go from detached observation to passionate connection and back -- it was eerie to watch, but felt very authentic. Kevin embodied the larger-than-life and very daring beliefs of Ted, who, though he is lecherous and self-obsessed, is also genuinely interested in other people and the only sane one of the poets.

Funny, touching, stimulating show. Go see it now until June 5th at the Pear.


Blogger Wiz Knitter said...

Thanks for the great review! I forwarded the URL to artistic director Diane Tasca, since I'm sure she'll love to see such nice comments about the space. That's exactly why I love working there, it's all about the actors.

June 01, 2005 1:36 PM  
Blogger katya said...

I laughed my butt off when I saw this play last Friday. What a great show. Of course, my dear friend Troy is in it, and I think everything he does is hilarious. :)

June 03, 2005 7:25 PM  

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