Last night I barely made it to my ushering gig at Aurora. I walked down to catch my MUNI train and it was stalled on the tracks, which in turn were blocked with repair trucks, and it was pretty clear I wasn’t gonna get anywhere close to BART anytime soon. Luckily, my housemate just happened to be passing by on the way home and drove me to BART. Made it with seconds to spare.
Of course, when you’re an usher, there’s then that hour of stuffing programs and standing around saying the house isn’t open yet, giving you plenty of time to decompress. So I didn’t go into the show all frantic and rushed.
Which was good, because ICE GLEN is an unrushed, contemplative kind of show. It’s about a poet, an Atlantic Monthly editor and a widow, and it’s also about a Berkshire cottage, a bear, the outdoors, the coming of winter and that post-WWII but pre-1920s era when everything seemed up-for-grabs.
I’ve been reading and seeing a lot of crazy Curious Plays lately, so it was kind of a fresh change of pace for me to see a more conventionally-plotted play that takes place in living rooms and drawing rooms. And, since it’s by a contemporary playwright, it also has interesting language, humor and a lot of moments that could only be described as “lovely.”
And, this is an odd theater-geek kind of thing to notice, but I was really impressed by the fluid scene changes. Scenes would blend into each other as the characters moved furniture, and suddenly we’d be in another room, almost seamlessly. Kind of like when Mick Napier introduced Harold-style improv scene-blending into Second City mainstage shows. (See, I’m also an improv geek.)