Thursday, September 27, 2007

Blind Mouth Singing

Photo/Zack Brown

Visually, director Ruben Polendo manages to focus the wide and sparse stage (classic yet industrial) onto a single metaphor, a strip of life (seen as a horizontal well). But textually, Jorge Ignacio Cortinas's script is narrowly focused on the metaphorical coming of age, and is cluttered with repetitious scenes. These two styles clash, and though Polendo fills the dead space with stylized movement (dashes set to drum beats, knife-sharpening jerks) and distracts us with a Foley artist, the play is neither jarringly magical nor beautifully mundane. The all Asian American cast is pretty good, but adds nothing to play, especially not what Blind Mouth Singing really needs: clarity about the mental-made-physical struggle of the second act between Reiderico (Jon Norman Schneider) and his well-dwelling "twin," Lucero (Alexis Camins). Polendo has the magic to conjure up a storm on stage (among many other interesting visuals), but the plot, slippery like water, eludes him.

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