Food, Clothing, and Shelter (review)

Food, Clothing, and Shelter (review)
Food, Clothing, and Shelter (review)
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THE PLAY: After a circus train derails near a small Indiana town, members of the troupe venture into local businesses to seek the titular necessities.

 

THE PRODUCTION: The opening scene sets up situations that could make for interesting interactions with the townsfolk, but it’s actually a framing device for 3 one-acts that are essentially two-handers. Act 1 is a mostly inconsequential interchange with some wry humor. Act 2’s protracted dialogue ultimately addresses racism and features a breakout standout performance by Keisha Wallace. The third act (again slightly too long) delves into more emotional territory and features Donna Marie Miller’s moving portrayal. The majority of the 19-member cast is largely relegated to minor support. Director Joel Bassin’s staging sometimes succeeds and other times seems confused (the addition of real sideshow acts before the show and during intermissions is an interesting conceptual addition). Bo Wilson’s world-premiere script shines with the enjoyable interactions of the 2 final acts. Matthew Allar’s set of rope rigging, crates and piles of junk is suggestive of a Rauschenberg assemblage, but feels more junky than artistic. Andrew Bonniwell’s lights work just fine, except for the unexplained scenes when the house lights come on (probably the director’s idea). Running time: 2:06

 

THE POINT: While the concept of Bo Wilson’s script holds promise and the production is ably acted, only the two final acts offer compelling interactions.

 

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

 

At Firehouse Theatre thru 9/17

Foster Solomon & Keisha Wallace (Photos by Bill Sigafoos)

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