March 29, 2015
Young Americans are hyped, distracted, jumpy, insecure-suicidal, thoroughly ready to play any game, but equally ready to call the whole thing off, or so it seems from nine monologues performed at Three Legged Dog Art and Technology Center. Certainly Deena Levy, the Canadian born director and teacher of the nine young actor/writers, hit upon a timely theme, technology and how it affects our daily lives. She conducted the monologues as arias of laments, worries, fears, and observations, bringing each one to a still point in which the actors revealed their core. Brendt Reil’s rant on branding closed with the quiet statement that “I am enough,” while Ellie Lee, a successful TV host, concluded with the confession that she’s lonely; Danny Patrick is grateful for his dual life courtesy of hearing aids, but he would rather sit in silence with his deaf grandmother.
Oddly, the images and the timing of their appearance, usually one or two per monologue, as designed by Andre Zachary affirmed the complexity of this cultural phenomenon because of the direct power of their affect. The image of the audience (direct feed) sitting unfazed by Jennifer Gellman’s meltdown, clarified and affirmed her plight - no one rose to give her the hug she desperately needed. Nancy Magarill and Ryan Montbleau wrote the music that infused the production with a contemporary energy and edge. But, the ring tones, which we heard constantly, rule; no music, not chosen by the characters themselves, could possibly be of any consequence.
The nine actors: Brendt Reil, Casey Hildebrand, Danny Patrick, Colleen Fleischmann, Graceann Dorse, Tom Miller, Jennifer Gellman, Miranda McCauley, and Ellie Lee, sailed through the stage in between each monologue, shifting chairs and soloists. The mood never lifted from a tragic sense of emptiness and neediness, despite how voyeuristically entertaining the prevailing drive to desperately divulge all can be.
Perhaps in a sequel, all the actors will recycle their tech toys and collectively rebel by picking up a book or starting a conversation.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers