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Tag / 2019 plays

Playing Along: Nothing Without A Company’s “Pakalolo Sweet”

“It had to get dramatic, didn’t it?”

“Was it not already?” asked Eleanor, as they walked carefully across the astroturf lining the ground in the Berger Park Coach House. The space, a tight blackbox in the center of a park on the edge of Lake Michigan, felt tightly cramped when oriented in a traditional proscenium setting.

“Well, yeah, it was, but I had hope it would stay upbeat about it,” Dania mused. “It wasn’t like Batu, last year. That was dramatic the whole way through. This one felt like it suddenly decided to be a drama halfwa––”

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The Tourist Trap: Kumu Kahua Theatre’s “Ua Pau (It Is Finished, Over, Destroyed)”

It had been a while since they’d attended anything at the theatre that could be truthfully described as “intense.” There had been tension in their recent outings –– Out Of Love and Ms. Blakk For President found appropriate balances of sweetness and drama –– but it had been more than a year since anything went as dark as quickly as Ua Pau.

“Lots of shouting,” Dania commented, as they walked out of the theatre.

“Well, it’s a family drama,” Eleanor agreed. “That’s what ends up happening when all the secrets come out.”

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Saint Joan: Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s “Ms. Blakk For President”

As she walked over the confetti-coated floor of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s upstairs theater, Dania felt caught between a rock and a hard place.

On one side of her –– rather, on either side of her, while they sat on a couch during the performance –– were Eleanor and Gwen, who were excitedly violating the “100 Yard Rule” to praise the performance before they had left the building. They had joined every whoop and holler that evening, each chant of “LICK BUSH IN ’92” and “MARSHA P,” each numb silence when the story’s parallels to 2019 were abundantly clear.

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Them’s Fighting Words: Macha Theatre Works’ “Sheathed”

“Where has this writer been all my life?” Dania asked, as they traced up the stairs and onto the bustling 7th Avenue. With conviction, Dania hopped the last two steps and planted her feet on the curb –– a tiny gesture to express the fighting spirit now instilled in her.

“She has an excellent voice,” Gwen agreed, as they walked. “It’s great conversational writing. Perhaps a touch heavy on the exposition at the start, but I’ll allow it for the fantastical setting.”

“Yeah, how else are you going to explain all the backstory with the armies, and Ren’s father?” Eleanor asked. “You gotta just state it, eventually.”

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