Saturday, March 24, 2007
volume of smoke
volume of smoke may not be as focused on a hot topic as The Laramie Project, but that's fine: the center of this tragic is a physically hot topic, an "Awful Conflagration of the Theatre" that killed seventy people in 1811, and the emotional core is a molten-smooth assemblage of declamations from the dead. This show takes the wry, honest moments that I liked most from, say, The Burning Cities Project and confronts tragedy dead on with ash-blackened imagery and the beautifully squeamish language. Did I mention that the six-person ensemble is fantastic, particularly Abe Goldfarb and Daryl Lathon, who really seem to love everything about theater? Or that Isaac Butler (who has expanded a lot since I saw The Amulet) is a technically precise, physically gripping director? Clay McLeod Chapman has a distinctly haunting prose that brings to mind a more eloquent Chuck Palahniuk, and I recommend this play very highly to everyone.