Flux Sunday, July 13th
Monday, July 21, 2008 Leave a Comment
(Photo: Allison Bolah. Pictured: August Schulenburg, Daren Taylor, David Ian Lee, David Douglas Smith, Heather Cohn)SO MANY CONS, SO FEW SUNDAYS
Our second Flux Sunday back from Midsummer had the heart of a con man. Cons of the dishonest kind were being played in me tentatively titled new play, Denny and Lila, and of the probably dishonest kind in David Ian Lee's Dog Show, and of the most earnest kind in Johnna Adam's Oneida, Servants of Motion.
HEY, DENNY. HI, LILA.
Needing a break from wrestling with the thorny angels and slippery devils of Other Bodies, I wrote the first scene of a con play. Got to love a con play - everyone needs something and they're usually doing something interesting to get it. But of course, my damn head is already twisting it into some darker thing about love and lust and knowing how to trust those things - but for now, it was just about three people conning a woman too smart to see how she's being taken. This was especially exciting as it marked the Flux Sunday directorial debut of Amy Fitts, and she got vibrant performances from Ingrid Nordstrom as Mary and Elise Link as Jabber.
CANDICE, BRIAN, DOGS.
David's Dog Show, on the other hand, doesn't show its own con to the audience; and so you're left wondering just who is going to get eaten in this predatory play. We think Eddie is getting taken by Frank through Candice, but maybe Candice is using Eddie against Frank, or maybe Eddie is using them both; we only have hints about what game is being played, though by the end of this pivotal scene, we suspect the hapless Eddie may be much more than expected. Candice and Brian did an amazing job at showing the gradual change in power between these two dangerous yet vulnerable human beings who both take their hands of wheels literal and otherwise as the dogs strut for prizes.
SLEDDING YOUR WAY INTO HER HEART
The sweetest of counterpoints to these rags of cons was Johnna's Oneida, where Pip, the 13 year old boy freshly brought into the status of manhood by his 61 year old lover Harriet, tries to con his way earnestly into her heart through sledding. Appointed by their utopian community to train Pip in the ways of male continence, Harriet told the frightened boy sex was a little like sledding and a little like prayer. Now smitten with his lover, Pip takes her sledding, hoping the rush of it will convince Harriet to love him more than is permitted in their community's complex marriage. Just how successful he is was the subject of a fascinating discussion between playwright, director David Douglas Smith, and actors Jane Taylor and Jake Alexander.
But not to be out done in the hard core cons, Johnna's contribution to this Sunday ended with Gretchen Poulos hilariously playing the least honorable member of the Oneida community James, who passed out pamphlets to the audience praising the benefits of communal marriage for less than desirable men. The fake pamphlet she created easily belongs in the Flux Sunday hall of fame, right next to Johnna's lovingly designed snake-cages-on-pages. Ah, Hot Biblical Love!