Girlfiriend: I went to see Girlfiriend at Signature Theatre on Friday night. Despite the title (which is derived from the Matthew Sweet album that forms its score), this is a coming-of-age story about two gay men, who have just graduated from high school and are having a summer romance before one of them leaves for college. Mike is an alpha male, a football player, heading to college and a likely medical career in the more distant future. Will is awkward and doesn’t really know what he wants for the future. His fantasies are charmingly simple – like going to Safeway and shopping for dogfood with Matt. Mostly, the two of them go to a drive-in, where they watch the same movie every night. If only Evangeline, the story of a nun / cop / superhero / alien, were a real movie! The music is enjoyable and the script is funny. But what really made this worth seeing was the performances. I’ve seen Jimmy Mavrikes, who played Will, in several shows before. Lukas James Miller, who played Mike, was new to me, but also did a good job. The chemistry between the two of them felt realistic for teen romance. I was afraid that there would be a tragic ending and was relieved to be wrong. Overall, I thought this was a charming and, dare I say, sweet little show.
Storytelling: Saturday night was a Better Said Than Done show at The Auld Shebeen. The theme was Getting Busy: stories of work, tasks, and getting’ busy. I had a fairly literal interpretation, with a story about how I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. But there were a wide range of interpretations of the theme, which is one of the things that always makes this fun. There was a large and lively audience and I think it went well. Video to follow eventually.
Witch: On Sunday afternoon, I went to see Witch at Creative Cauldron. This was part of their Bold New Works for Intimate Spaces series. It had to do with a group of women – 3 mothers, their tween daughters, and the mother of one of them – staging a series of sketches about witches as part of the women’s march. The witches ranged from Joan of Arc to Rebecca Nurse (one of the Salem victims) to Margaret Hamilton to a woman in Ghana who was exiled to Gambaga. The point had to do with the treatment of women, both historically and now. There was also some material about the women’s relationships with one another, but that was not quite as fleshed out as I’d have liked. It was definitely a provocative show and I look forward to discussing it with other people who’ve seen it. (It brought out plenty of anger on the part of the friend I saw it with.) There's also the interesting irony of it having been written by two men.
I should also note the performances. In particular, Florence Lacey demonstrated the power of an older woman. And Iyona Blake continues to amaze and impress me with her powerful voice. That was particularly dramatic with a sustained note at the end of the song "Gambaga."
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