Friday, June 08, 2007

Wonderland; Free Fall

When I first mentioned the Wonderland one-act festival to all of you ten days ago, I spoke about the potential of a competition like this, and about the power of a showcase to surprise you. Having just come from the finale, a true show showdown between three playwrights and their assembled directors and actors, I can tell you that the potential is still there, and that at least for Jessamyn Fiore, it's been fully realized. If her darkly comic gem, Sandwich doesn't win tomorrow, I'm going to be terribly disappointed in what this representative portion of America thinks is "good" theater. Thanks to a note-perfect director, Kimberlea Kressal, and a well-ranged cast (the superb Karly Maurer and Dechelle Damien), Fiore has managed to launch lunch (or at least its mundane preparation) into a high metaphor for the entrapment of married life, and the difficult moral ground of adultery. The other two shows hit the far reaches of theater: Farewell Evenbrook is far too normal and forgettable a play, and Indigenous People is so far over the top that it's nothing more than a hideous sketch. Okay, so not every play's a winner: but there's good stuff (like actor Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone or actress Nicole Heriot) to be found in all of them, and yes . . . there's still great potential.

[Read on]

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