WHAT PEOPLE THINK
Bender’s dialogue is simultaneously rich, poetic, and real, bursting forth most elegantly in the young Star. Bender has captured the tone of addiction and it’s gravity on a family as evidenced in the weight with which each character gravitates toward Star. The events as they unfold here are strikingly real; commonplace in fact, if you come from a family afflicted with addiction.
Addictions. Evictions. Financial insecurity. Food insecurity. Medical debt. College debt. The strains on this family are those on families all across this country now, which makes the play resonate in the national moment as well as a personal one.
The Theatre Synesthesia cast is amazing as always. Marci Blackwell, Nicholas Kier, Sam Lee Howard, and Devin Finn are riveting and compelling every moment. Their laser focus on the rhythm created by Wimpee’s eloquent script is outstanding and needs to be seen to be appreciated. They move with a singular grace that speaks volumes and shows off America Archer’s directorial skill to perfection. The show runs less than a breathless hour and when the outside door is opened after curtain call it’s as if the pressure is released from a steam engine. The experience is intense.
It’s vivid, unpredictable, at times horrific. Perfect actor bait: these performers, all devoted to the power of language, must have shivered in anticipation when first reading this script. Director America Archer encouraged them to run with it like wild horses.
The Brutes is an intellectual feast piled high with food for thought, served up with speed and emphasis. Theatre Synesthesia gets good marks for the meal, for Devin Finn’s delivery as chief cook, and for telling us about the fabulous forgotten Booths.
The Brutes is a strong work that is deeply relevant to the current political rumblings in these United States. This historical fiction spiked with Shakespeare and garnished with musical interludes contains some timeless truths in its time-traveling language, and it is a cautionary tale that can be appreciated by all Americans, blue or gray.
All five actors in the run’s first weekend (the cast changes slightly each week) were deeply committed to their parts. They are technically great performers who power their accents and physicality with the humanity of their characters.
This is a once in a lifetime sensory experience that both thrills and chills as secret desires, carnal urges, and hidden memories come boiling to the surface. As the play processes an air of hallucination begins to take hold that is stunning in the effect it has on us as an audience. Total darkness has an unsettling effect, a fact Wimpee uses brilliantly.