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Hopeful Catharsis

July 23, 2017

tft-button_2_origEndurance, that stubborn ability to go on no matter what is a very human thing, raw & strained never knowing release until it comes suddenly, a snap.

The six stories in Tales from Tomorrow are awash in catharsis & raw humanity; the characters reflecting pains so real and deeply felt as to be palpable. Each story a complete emotional arch en miniature, a reflection of maybes and similarities of theme close enough that catharsis may be found to those who need look for such release.

Not every tale can end sweet and serene, life isn’t such. There are dark tales from Tomorrow, and the darkness looms deep from the beginning, with Jennifer Novak Chun in Magnum Opus. A lesson in being careful perhaps, deeper still, a lesson reflected back as a question. How does one go on with the time they have left? Soulfully sorrow filled notes drift forth from Jennifer’s violin carrying the audience forward through the Tales; life alwayse moves forward. Even when you don’t know where you’re going.unnamed

Painful repetitions, those times that simply won’t end no matter how much you want them to are on display with Where One Heart Beats. Carene Rose Mekertichyan is raw & powerful, portraying that love that just won’t die, and shouldn’t if words mean anything. The stark emotions, the strong use of her eyes and wry lips to be that manifestation of every hurt lover who absolutely meant every ‘forever’ leaves you exhaling deeply, pangs from your heart reflected on stage. Roman Guastaferro, every lover who… can’t quite grasp ‘forever’ lasts more than a moment. If you cause enough pain with your love those moments can last forever, and Roman shows the glib indifference of such a lover quite charmingly.

pretendRipped apart & stitched back together with shadowy reflections; Pretend Roses shows a ‘reality’ of pain so plainly as to be as true as a ‘story’ can be. Jerry Chappel reflecting a dawning realization too tragic to endure whole, and must be piecemealed out carefully by Carrie Muniak and Jason C. Daniels. Carrie and Jason bringing Jerry and the audience along, slowly and patiently with all the right words, the empathy… Tales from Tomorrow goes down many dark roads, and in this presentation shows how humanity can endure through those dark roads, it’s not alwasye pretty, but humanity endures.

LotteryEnduring is something humans are good at, even as we age we can go on, if we have to. Hansford Prince shows the dignity of humanity in doing what has to be done, even when you don’t want to, regardless of age. Taking the audience on a twisted ride The Lottery shows a cathartic strength from simply enduring through what has to be done. The twist, damn well executed, comes hidden in a twist of language already expected. Marnie Olson (writer) put a damn large smile on my face, not often I can’t spot a twist, sleight within sleight… Such twists had to be hidden and Gioya Tuma-Wak hid them from Hansford and audience alike with such sweet turns and kind pulls towards the unpleasant necessity.

Swipe LeftSpinning off the twist, comes a twistedly funny and poignant story in Swipe Left. Tales from Tomorrow is a world of what ifs, and Olivia Sundeen takes joyful use this showing us a world where we are alwayse looking for the next perfect match. As mirthful as Olivia shows herself to be on stage, Sam Grey shows himself to be a quick witted chameleon, swiping through a near endless array of characters. I half expected to see Sam blur on stage the say one does on shows with the preternaturally fast. Robin Williams didn’t cycle through as many characters in a short time while playing Genie.

This is the second Tales from Tomorrow I’ve seen and it has taken steps down a different path. Before we looked through the lens of mostly dark what ifs, now, while still having dark elements hope shows through. A way out is possible Tomorrow, you’ll be safe in three Tomorrows, Tomorrow you’ll reach the stars. The paths of life are long, but humans endure, and this version of Tales from Tomorrow shows the strength in humanity, and offers catharsis for those who need it. Tales from Tomorrow is full of grand emotions and simply good theatre.

Tales From Tomorrow (currated by Sebastian Muñoz) is currently under extension, please visit or for more info.

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