Friday, May 14, 2010

The Young Man From Atlanta, Profile Theatre, (Grade C)

Playwright: Horton Foote
Director: Pat Patton

Will Kidder   .....   Tobias Anderson
Tom Jackson   .....   Jonah Weston
Miss Lacey   .....   Briana Ratterman
Ted Cleveland Jr.  .....  Jason Maniccia
Lily Dale  .....  JoAnn Johnson
Pete Davenport  .....  Scott Malcolm
Clara  .....  Jocelyn Seid
Carson  .....  Schuyler Schmid
Etta Doris  .....  LaVerne Green

sez says: this Pulitzer Prize winning play is a wonder of language and characters. Foote's style is so easy, so invisible, so perfectly pitched, that you feel like you are watching real people talking to each other in the most ordinary way. And you wonder what is this about --and then 'life' happens to the character and they stand their ground and take it and find ways to prevail by simply being themselves. 
This performance was mixed: Tobias Anderson  certainly made Will Kidder come alive but JoAnn Johnson struggled with Lily Dale. She just didn't  meet the bar.  The rest of the cast were fine--not great but perfectly adequate to tell the story.
And here are some  issue the play gives you to chew:  How well do any of us know our children. How much do we want to know about them? If the Young Man From Atlanta comes to tell us about them, will we let him in?  And how does anyone cope with loss?   How do you know who to trust? If you only child kills himself  and you don't know why how do you cope?  What might you do / or what might you be willing to believe to find solace? As you turn the corner and head down the last part of life how do you keep going when everything you believed in and worked for begins to unravel? And there is more--presented in the most everyday sort of talk with everyday activities going on all around. It is a wonderful piece of work -- and it is well worth seeing, even in a production that is not perfect.

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