Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tonight Nothing…--CoHo Productions—NW Portland

        “Two Roads Diverged…”


    This, one-weekend only show, is co-produced by From the Ground UP and created & performed by Merideth Kaye Clark and Katherine Murphy Lewis and directed by Courtney Freed.  Songs, music and sound composed and designed by Merideth Kaye Clark.  It is playing at the CoHo Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh St. (parking can be a challenge in this area, so plan your time accordingly), through July 28th.  For more information, go to their site at www.cohoproductions.org   

    Life may be Fragile but True Friendships are Forever!  Our journeys through this maze we call Life, are like a series of paths through a dense forest.  Some are rocky; some filled with potholes; some muddy; and some smoothly downhill.  But one thing is for sure, it is much easier to navigate it if you have a friend by your side.  There can be arguments and separations; tears of joy and sadness and anger; moments of regret and longing; freedom and commitment; purging of demons and discovering hidden treasures; but, through it all, that one true friend will become like a misty, mirror-image of you (and you, her) for better or worse.  But together, you’ll roar!  It is said, “no man is an island.”  Tis true.

    This story is such a journey.  Em (Merideth Kaye Clark) is the responsible, practical one of the duo.  Kaye (Katherine Murphy Lewis) is the traveler, the one who has to keep moving (running toward something, or away from something?).  She has a “rocket in her pocket” and feels the need to “gather no moss,” as her searching continues.  Seemingly, she and Em are like two sides of the same coin but, like coins, when rubbed together, they can cause friction.

     Both of them carry their past in a little basket, not wanting to let go of baubles and trinkets, representing memories of the Past.  Perhaps it’s a stuffed toy, or a red, electric wok, or a scrapbook of pictures and letters, especially of Em’s great-grandmother, Lela Hall Frank (Clark, again), who was a champion trapshooter of the 1930’s and a woman that forged her own trail (ala, perhaps, Annie Oakley).  And then, one day, it happens.  All these elements, the distant past, the recent past, the present and even a probable future, all converge on one another and decisions must be made as to…where do we go from here?!

    Lewis & Clark (historic and present-day explorers) have many things going for them in this original material.  It is certainly a tale of bonding between two women.  It is a story of heritage and its DNA’s effect on our personas.  It is a saga of loneliness and aloneness.  But, most of all, it is a diary of changing and evolving.  In this regard, then, it is a journey of all of us through this misty, murky, and mysterious creature we regard as human who, to live up to that heritage, must also, ultimately, be humane!

    This is planned for a revival into a fuller production some time in the future, so if you can’t catch this short run, definitely watch for it in the coming months.  I highly recommend it.  The two actors play off each other brilliantly and the story, with simple setting, and some lovely songs/music by Clark, are worth your time.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.
--DJS

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