Monday, December 13, 2010

Dying City, Portland Playhouse, (Grade A)

By Christopher Shinn
Directed by Brian Weaver
Peter/Craig   .....   Wade McCollum
Kelly   .....   Cristi Miles

plot summary  Craig has been killed in "the war."  (Maybe it doesn't matter what war. He had become a disillusioned soldier.)  Peter is Craig's twin brother, Kristi is his widow.  We enter with Kristi alone packing and watching TV -- doorbell, brings a surprise visit from Peter. K & P have not seen each other since the funeral which was a year ago... story jumps back and forth from discussions between Peter and Krisi --to flashbacks whit Craig & Kristi... along the way the story unfolds and much is revealed about what war does and struggles in the heart's of men.

sez says: this is the sort of thing that draws us to the theater.  People struggling to understand the world, themselves and each other.  Peter/Craig are the SUBJECTS of this story--they are the characters whose actions move the issues we are to consider to the surface.  Kristi is the OBJECT of the story. Without Kristi, Craig and Peter would have little meaning to us. It is what happens to her/us that makes P/C actions matters.  How do we deal with men like this?  Craig is a man barely able to suppress his rage -- his anger at women-- the sickness he finds in himself.  But Kristi loves him and works hard to find a way to hold her own ground while reaching out to him. In the process she is rung dry and left hollow.  Peter is lost without his brother--who loved him --but who also abused him. Peter has no one to share his loss with, except Kristi -- and he wants the loss to be his alone -- while she wants to get past the dull ache that her life has become. Beautifully acted, intense piece of work. Well done all around.

mjc says:  one of the best pieces I've see on the Iraq War--glimpses of the anguish here and there.,

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