By Bob & Karen Isaacs
BOB: Hi! I’m Bob
KAREN: And I’m Karen and we go to the theater regularly.
BOB: And we would like to share with you our thoughts and opinions, which don’t always agree, about area professional theater.
KAREN: We went to Hartford TheaterWorks to see what they billed as a “searing adult drama” Blackbird, a play that had won all sorts of awards in London and had been in New York last spring, where we missed it though we had wanted to see it. Their billing is absolutely correct. It is a searing, adult drama. Let’s give you a brief summary. It opens with “Una’s unexpected arrival at Ray’s workplace. Fifteen years earlier, Ray and Una had an illicit relationship. Then he disappeared. Today, she has tracked him down at his office, looking to settle their unfinished business. Her desire to confront him unleashes a torrent of unresolved emotions, and for those in the audience, stunning surprises.”
BOB: And we’re not going to tell you what happens here. But it is quite an effective piece and work and the performers were great. The young woman who plays Una, Beth Wittig, during the early part of the show the night we saw it, slipped and fell but she handled it beautifully.
KAREN: She’s a young actress making her professional debut. She’s teamed with J. Tucker Smith as Ray. He is wonderful. This is a play that does what drama should do: it makes you question.
BOB: It makes you think about the issues. There are a lot of absolutes in it that become not so absolute.
KAREN: Absolutely! You have a sense of how you should respond – who should be the good person, who the bad person and yet, as you walk out, you are not sure you responded that way
BOB: or that you should respond that way.
KAREN: It really causes you to question your assumptions.
BOB: It is excellently down. This was directed by Amy Saltz, who is also new to TheaterWorks.
KAREN: The Associated Press called it a “cat and mouse tale of revenge and sexual intrigue.” I think it is important to realize this is adult content, be aware of that.
BOB: Not necessarily nudity or four letter works
KAREN: but the issues are adult. So this is brilliantly done, fascinating, searing and causes you to question things.
BOB: We suggest you get up and see this. TheaterWorks Hartford does terrific work.
BOB: Now a quick look at what’s playing or coming up at area professional theatres.
(Ran on WNHU (88.7 fm) and WNHU.ORG, April 14 to 28, 2008.)