Sunday, August 17, 2008

Green Eyes

Photo/Jasmine Wang

Green Eyes
is a remarkably ambitious piece of theater for such a simple love story, but whether it's Brian Mazzaferri's music, Lizzie Leopold's choreography, or simply the performances from the two singers (Nick Blaemire and Celina Carvajal), two dancers (Ryan Watkinson and Melissa Bloch), and five-piece folk rock band (that's the classic guitar and drum mixed with the classical cello and bass, plus a piano for good measure), I'm sold. Though it's a simple story, Jessica Redish directs the work with, as the song goes, "loving ambiguity," working toward the emotionally rich experience rather than the narratively detailed musical. Given the scope of time that passes--an entire relationship in one hour--we understand that inevitable fighting and the hopeful make-ups, so having a muddled middle isn't actually a problem: the dancing mirrors the music, the music mirrors the singing, the singing mirrors the dancing, and caught somewhere in all those reflections is the teal tint of truth. There are still a few places where it's hard to focus, and, for a show that's essentially about contrasts, a few more duets (like the spectacular "I Only Know I Am"/"Hope in the Questions" finale) are needed to tie things together. But it's marvelous work all around--particularly the lift-heavy dancing--and my eyes were wide open throughout. On a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being "Green with nausea" and 5 being "Green with envy," Green Eyes gets a 4.5.

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