Monday, February 05, 2018

Reflecting On Liars & Believers Recent Event - "Irrestistible" coLab




Liars & Believers recently held a fascinating one night only event at Sonia at the Middle East in Central Square. The event, "Irresistible" was described as a "coLAB." It was an "immersive, artistic, wild ride." I experienced it almost as a classic 1960s "Happening." A team of collaborating artists wove together a 90 minute experience that included performance art, dance, movement, spoken word, original music, and recreated silent film action in front of a simulated movie screen. It felt a bit like an artistic buffet, with tastes, textures, and spices from a variety of genres.

The performers/collaborators were: Tess Degen, Jesse Garlick, Sarah Gazdowicz, M.I.C. King, Becca Lehrhoff, Nathan Leigh, Evan Lukash, Jay Mobley, Glen Moore, Jeff Pearlstein, Shaina Schwartz, Rachel Wiese,and MollyZenobia, with additional performances by Veronica Barron, Luke Paulino, and Ethan Rubin.



If a single theme could be deduced from the program, here is what the notes said: "In a time of turmoil, will resentment, anger, and fear tear us apart? Will our better selves triumph? Where will we and our nation end up? Deep inside, what irresistibly pulls us. . . and at what cost?From the Constitution to cake - from sex appeal to social construct - what is . . . irresistible?"
Rebecca Lehrhoff, Sarah Gazdowicz


An entire room full of people found the idea of this experimental theater piece irresistible, for the event was sold out. If you want to be able to choose to attend the next Liars & Believers event, I suggest you get on their mailing list and like their FB page.

Liars and Believers Website

Enjoy their next events.

Al

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company AT Babson Presents The Gripping Drama "Death and the Maiden" at Babson College - Through February 11th


Most Boston area residents are very familiar with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's annual summer production of a Shakespeare play on Boston Common. You may be less familiar with the fact that CSC also maintains a vibrant residency on campus at Babson College in Wellesley, producing plays of the highest artistic caliber as Commonwealth Shakespeare Company AT Babson. The current production is the taut and gripping drama, "Death and the Maiden" by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman, and Directed by Steve Maler.

The action of the play is set in a generic Latin American nation, recently having replaced a violent military junta with a duly elected President. The new leader has appointed Gerardo Escobar (Mickey Solis) to a commission that is mandated to investigate abuses committed by the previous regime. His wife, Paulina Salas (Flora Diaz) had been a victim of abduction and violent abuse by the old regime 15 years earlier. She is still recovering. The tension mounts after Gerardo experiences car trouble, and is rescued by a "Good Samaritan," Dr. Roberto Miranda (Mark Torres). Even though Paulina had been blindfolded during her days of abduction and torture, she recognizes Dr. Miranda as one of her torturers, based on his voice, smell, texture of his skin, and his possession of a cassette tape of Schubert's classic string quartet, "Death and the Maiden."  Paulina manages to immobilize the good doctor, and coerces Gerardo into joining her in putting him on trial for his past sins against her. And the action escalates to the point where audience members have to remember to breathe.

Mark Torres as Dr. Miranda
Flora Diaz as Paulina
Mickey Solis as Gerardo
"Death and the Maiden"
by Ariel Dorfman
Directed by Steve Maler
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company AT Babson
Babson College
Through February 11th
Photo by Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots
As the tension mounts and Paulina becomes more and more strident in demanding a confession by Miranda, complicated issues are explored by the playwright. Justice vs, Vengeance. Individual pain and suffering vs. the need for collective Reconciliation and healing. The rule of law vs. vigilantism. This trio of troubled and "tortured" human beings struggle together - often violently - during 36 hours of house arrest in the living room of a beach house where Paulina and Gerardo have been staying. The playwright asks explicitly as he describes the struggle of a post-Pinochet Chile: "How can those who tortured and those who were tortured coexist in the same land?"

The writer wisely leaves the denouement of this collision ambiguous, forcing each audience  member to ask, at the end of the play: "What would I have done if I were in Paulina's shoes?"


Mark Torres as Dr. Miranda
Flora Diaz as Paulina
"Death and the Maiden"
by Ariel Dorfman
Directed by Steve Maler

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company AT Babson
Babson College
Through February 11th

Photo by Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots


A simple Set of raised platform and dining room table has been designed by Clint Ramos, who also designed the Costumes. Effective Lighting is by Jeff Adelberg, and stunningly effective Sound design is by Arshan Gailus.

Director Steve Maler has cast three gifted actors, who take us on a harrowing journey. Under his direction, they ratchet up the tension that feels as taut as an E string on the first violin in Shubert's eponymous string quartet. Each of the three actors have moments of quiet reflection, as well as bombastic outbursts. This play requires great physical stamina and emotional resilience on the part of the cast members. And they deliver with near perfection.

This is dark subject matter that delves into the blackest corners of the human spirit and collective soul. Come prepared to wrestle with deep issues. And come prepared to see theater at its best - brilliantly written, skillfully directed, and superbly well executed by three actors who play off of one another like members of a chamber orchestra interpreting Schubert.

February 8-10 at 7:30pm
February 11 at 3:00pm


At Babson College in Wellesley.

CSC Website

Enjoy!

Al