Monday, May 4, 2015

Grounded—CoHo Productions—NW Portland

“When Worlds Collide”
This one-woman drama is written by George Brant, directed by Isaac Lamb and stars Rebecca Lingafelter.  It is playing at their space at 2257 NW Raleigh St. through May 23rd.  For more information, go to their site at www.cohoproductions.org or call 503-220-2646.  It should be noted that it is only street parking, so plan your time accordingly.

After seeing this, I was reminded of the film, The Sniper, in which an autonomous individual must decide that fate of others, in essence, playing God.  I was also reminded of a short story I read called, Silent Snow, Secret Snow, in which a boy is being consumed by two worlds and must choose as to which one he belongs.  The story has those elements, in which a pilot (Lingafelter) is completely enveloped by the world she knows, which is as an aviator in the Big Blue.  She is at home…and at peace there.

But Fate has a different plan in store for her, a guy by the name of Eric.  Before you know it, she is in love and, not long after, pregnant.  Not so bad so far, as they get married, but not so good for her career.  Being pregnant, she is grounded, as the g-force would certainly kill her fetus, and must accept a desk job.  Now she enters other worlds not planned on.  She is now a wife and a mother but the Big Blue still calls her.  What to do…what to do…?

When she requests to be put back on her old job as a pilot, with her beloved plane, Tiger, she is told that is no longer the type of war they’re fighting.  Now they use drones, as they are more accurate and do not risk a pilot’s life.  She is skeptical at first, as she must now play on a team and the Big Blue is no longer in the picture.  Instead, it’s a just a gray, confined world.  And how do you content yourself with your passion, your duty and a family.  Not an easy decision to make…”and, thereby, hangs a tale.”  You’ll just have to see it to find out the outcome.

The story encompasses many issues, including guilt, choices, adapting, duty, morality, family, and love.  What we become, may not be what we, or the Powers that be, intended.  And how does one reconcile oneself with these choices?  What would have been at the end of …”the road not taken,” had we followed it?  She, and maybe we, must consider the answer.

This is done on a bare stage with one woman and a chair (and some very inventive lighting by Don Crossley).  And, it is enough.  Lamb’s directing is always worth watching and he has sprinkled this show with carefully placed movement so that it never becomes static.  And he has chosen just the right actress for the role.  I believe Anne Hathaway is now enacting it on Broadway but it would be hard to beat this performance.

Lingafelter absorbs us into her world so completely you believe you can see exactly which she is describing.  The emotional roller-coaster we enter with her is a journey of discovery…filled with peaks and valleys…never knowing what is around the next corner…or how we will deal with it.  She is totally in control and you believe her every step of the way.

I recommend this show.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.