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Humanity distilled & transformed

May 27, 2017

THTRAlchemy1With a booming, Welcome to the Theater, welcome from John Kenower, in a brilliant opening/introduction. John created a strong character that could host their own show, his stage presence was powerful from go.

Hitting hard from curtain, is a grand catching harbinger you’re about to spend an evening catching your breath; exhaling & trying to take it all in.

Jonica Patella as a gender bent fairy, named Poorly, in a mailbox with the gender neutral Truly (Gloria Galvan) kick off the night with amazing upside down energy. I’m sure if one could harvest the essence of Jonica’s transformative energies, her twisted turning spiral, ever descending plunging into the deepest darkest fathoms of extreme faemanity, humanity, they could power an empire. Or at least bestow a portion of that blessing upon many thespians, the ability to take any aspect of the human condition and spiral it to it’s most extremes. Made more apparent by the zen like ability of Gloria to hold the stage next to such energy in stillness, drive the arc forward through subtle turns. Maintaining the drive of the story through the storm of Jonica transforming… Wow…THTRAlchemy4

All to the credit of that mad task master, the wraith minded, fierce & sharp, Elif Savas. Practically an elemental fae-force manifest, her direction you can see the madness which she brought forth on the stage, the rise and fall of emotion, pulled forth from Gloria and Jonica something alive & powerful, all the more beautiful for the ephemeral nature of the stage.

Frustratingly maddeningly restrained sensuality, the lub-dub of heart throbbing pressure awh the gentle release of breath next to ear. Monica K. Ross hammers home a hard sensual line over and over until you’re breath falls in rhythm with the flow of breath & emotion on stage, hard to soft cutting building. John Kenower’s firmness with his opening carries through in his direction of Let me be bamboo for you. John cages the raw fury of Miss Cate’s writing only long enough to direct the blast of restrained sexual nuclear fusion right into the breath & beat of the audience. Monica, becomes an ever flowing rhythm & flow, back and forth against an endless pressing presence; Rick Brown. A ceaseless flow of emotion ever more constrained, frequencies rising, manic crescendo shattering upon = suspended release for the audience, a breaking of tension through denial, evaporation. The timing and ever constant lub-dub breathe in & out tension cutting off breath frantically rising…

Left seeing the writer lay bare through verse & breathless flow; it’s a good thing this show has an intermission coming up soon, hopefully, help, I need air…

Taking a voyage past titanic archetypes of the gender divide Vanessa spins a tale of a monolithic masculine, *writer makes extravagant hand gesticulation at screen to describe the, mountain of man Captain portrayed by John T. Cogan. That ever distant untouchable unknowable even to himself man’s man. So repressed in his everything, restricted & controlled, ever so confused as to why there is a yearning ever present. Mayhapse treat your Daisy (Ilona Kulinska) as well as your vessel and… well we all know how well that would go. Ilona encompasses an archetype hard to portray, the surrendered. To give yourself over in a way that retains agency, riding the waves of life another directs your course through. It takes strength to do so, that’s the Titan of womanhood Ilona portrayed, from the wrong angle many might see full surrender, but it takes strength to flow with the course the one you care sets… Ilona captured this splendidly. Again that talented and off center talent Miss. Savas drove such huge ever elusive icons of masculinity and feminitiy from the depths of her cast. Given chart from Vanessa, Elif set speed & meandering raging sea building course.

THTRAlchemy18Lemon Head, both the character and the vignette serve as a perfect portrait of privilege & imperialism. White collar culture superiority, elevating the mediocre to such great heights, destiny manifest and all that focus studied ever assured ever striding forward buy sell focus group quietly report steamrolling individualism never stopping alwayse going… American western exceptionalism. Thanks for thinking my thoughts for me Susan (Mariana Leite) playing the part so many of us know too well. The one who says the idea the A type male dude bro repeats as if it were his own. It’d be less tragic for its hilarity were it not ever so damn true and Mariana shows this truth ever so well. Can an over worked insomniac be woke, or is it an intense dream state like being woke. Starting from the bottom of insane insomnia I guess one can only pass out or wake up. Roger K. Weiss takes Lemon Head by the scraps of held together psyche that is those about to wake and runs hard against the endless corporate motto showing the fate of those who over slept/showed up late…

For the highs of Lemon Head, it’s the one piece in the collection with a few flat lines, mistimed moments that could have better drawn out those Ah ha recgonitions of the problems related to us by the narriative, lines sped up. Enough that the weight of Lemon Head before dampened ever slightly by the slowlness in places. THTR Alchemy is intense and Lemon Head delivers, those extra beats as the audience grows wrestles though… mute the power of the delivery.

Take careful notes Lisa (Alariza Nevarez) will tell you exactly what you’ll need fourteen strokes of to win your men ladies, and perhaps small low upper body strength men. How to win a guy in one hour is a manic ride, teeth clenching tense seeing Alariza portray a human that is at this moment out there. Or maybe I was caught up in the intensity of her performance; I hope there aren’t too many women like Lisa out there.

Bridget, with Monica K. Ross as Bridget & Rick Brown as Terry is realistically cute. Anyone who has ever been a couple has lived some version of the scene unfold in their lives. Utterly human there portrayal was real & sweet and I can’t add anything with flowery verse to say more or better. It was truly nice theater, sweet & human.

THTRAlchemy14Speculative fiction has many trappings and overlays, fantasy being a grand beautiful one of them, and Shayne Eastin’s words do better justice then mine do to the definition of fantastical spec fiction. Message, hope, warning even if it’ll never be heard by enough the journey is sweet enough to give catharsis to those who go on the journey (audience awake). Fantasy is pretty, used well it’s a sharp thorned rose drawing those who know not they hope to change in. As Fleet (Sasha Snow), Spring (Spring), & Floot (Jonica Patella) are dangerously deployed by Vanessa Cate to lure the audience in along with Daniel (Max Faugno) & Ezra (Aj Brody). Destroyed & transformed those two boys were as all must be who are about to wake. I wish Miss. Eastin’s words, her allegory would wake a few others to the core of her message.

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THTR Alchemy ran Friday & Saturday May 19 through 27th, a production of True Focus Theater showing at the Eclectic Theater.

For more information please visit truefocustheater.com Miss Vanessa Cate is constantly blowing minds and shocking sensibilities with her wonderful productions.

All Photos credit: Adam Neubauer

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