Friday night, M and I went with Marisela to see Betty Shamieh’s world premiere at the Magic. You can read a review that I agree with here and thus don’t have to listen me recreate the plot or use phrases like “incisive acting” and “beautiful set” and “groovy percussionist.” Just know that, like this dude, I liked it.
Two other things I was taken by. First, the simultaneous scenes worked extremely well. Not sure if it’s in the writing, the direction, or both, but the scenes blend together seamlessly and powerfully. I have a similar deal going on at times in my latest script (GYROBALL), so you better believe I was taking notes.
I also not only loved the “burnished Arabian grandeur” of the set, to use Chad Jones’ phrase, but in a more prosaic way, I liked that they built up the floor of the stage to make two playing areas. The Northside Theatre (the Magic has two theaters, the Northside and the Sam Sheapard Theatre) is usually just used as a simple black box. This kept the simplicity of the set intact, but added an extra playing space. Nice job, as always, Melpomene Katakalos (set designer extraordinaire).
With not one but two theatergoing pals, you’d expect that I’d round everyone up for a night of drinking. But alas, I’m getting over a cold and the weather has been crap, so I was back at home before I realized I hadn’t had a post-show beer. Crazy.