MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
New

A Number/’Night Mother in Repertory: A Heavy Night

A Number/’Night Mother in Repertory: A Heavy Night

The Seeing Place Theater presents two masterful plays that highlight parent child relationships. Both plays have something to say about grief, mental health, and how the desire to connect can affect a person’s life. Thematically, it makes for a heavy night, but it’s not without faults or comedic moments.

Brandon Walker and Michael Stephen Clay in A Number by Caryl Churchill.
Photo by Russ Rowland

A Number by Caryl Churchill lays out the long term aftermath of a father’s decision and desire to hold on to a child he wanted and thought he lost.

Initially, the dialogue was not quick enough to generate the driving tone that is characteristic of Churchill’s body of work, and it came to pace occasionally. Unfortunately Michael Stephen Clay is a one tone actor, while Brandon Walker is working in every scene to heighten the urgency by reacting to what Mr. Clay is not giving him. Mr. Walker’s talents are apparent; he created three genuine characters through subtle mannerisms, postures and vocal qualities.

Carla Brandberg and Erin Cronican in ‘Night Mother by Marsha Norman
Photo by Russ Rowland

‘Night, Mother by Marsha Norman chronicles Jessie’s (Erin Cronican) last night at home with her mother (Carla Brandberg) before she commits suicide.

Carla Brandberg and Erin Cronican are excellent scene partners. Despite her hoarse voice, Erin Cronican created a busy yet apathetic caregiver, who simply wanted to check off her list. Ms. Brandberg is absolutely brilliant, her Mama has a warm presence and an icy tongue – two things necessary to highlight the unique cruelty only mothers can deliver.

Lighting designer Joyce Liao played a heavy role in ‘Night, Mother. It was very subtle, but the lights were slowly turn red as the play progressed – leading to the inevitable suicide. As sound designer, Brandon Walker also snuck in a ticking clock that stopped with the gun shot.

The set (designed by Erin Cronican) was a detriment to both plays. It was not the design that failed the actors here, it was the layout of the design. All of the furniture was set up in a diagonal row, pinning two corners of the stage with furniture that was rarely used, and leaving the other two corners with no excuse to occupy them. While the directors’ intent in both plays is present, the physically limited playing space stifles the dramatic potential. Additionally, the actors’ movement did not always feel natural because of the set layout; a few times they seemed to invent movement or activity that didn’t made sense in the context of the moment.

Despite the often awkward movement, the pairing of these two plays makes for an intriguing evening of theatre, and demonstrates the unified vision of The Seeing Place Theater.

A Number/ ‘Night Mother, The Seeing Place Theater, The Paradise Factory, 64 East 4th St. Closes January 20.

New
@Jimenez824

Virginia Jimenez is a writer, dancer and teaching artist in New York City. She teaches for various companies focusing on dancing for musical theatre, ballroom dancing, theatrical skills and story building. Bringing arts education to students in NYC is incredibly rewarding for her because she is passionate about arts integration and using the arts to facilitate an emotional education. As a writer, Virginia believes in the power of words and stories to challenge and encourage audiences to seek growth and modes of expression. She likes tequila and ice cream - though not necessarily together. www.vmjimenez.com

More in New

My View: Steve Tyrell Waking Up Palm Beach On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Stephen SorokoffMarch 24, 2019

My View: Jimmy Webb

Stephen SorokoffMarch 23, 2019

My View: Another Op’nin, Another………..Wine..at The Colony Hotel

Stephen SorokoffMarch 22, 2019

My View: Steve Tyrell Turning on The Tables at Table 26

Stephen SorokoffMarch 21, 2019

My View: Happy Saint Patrick’s Day From Carole J. Bufford & Rob Russell

Stephen SorokoffMarch 18, 2019

My View: More Laughs Per Square Inch Then Any Other Place

Stephen SorokoffMarch 18, 2019

My View: It Takes Some Trick To Make Them Laugh In Florida

Stephen SorokoffMarch 16, 2019

My View: Dancing The Night Away at the Dancers in Transition Gala

Stephen SorokoffMarch 15, 2019

My View: Feinstein & Sinatra

Stephen SorokoffMarch 14, 2019