Monday, February 12, 2018

Kodachrome—PCS, The Armory—Pearl District

Love, Living and Loss

This World Premiere play is written by Adam Szymkowicz and directed by Rose Riordan.  It is playing at their space, 128 NW 11th Ave. (parking is a mess in this area, so plan your time accordingly), through March 18th.  For more information, go to their site at or call 503-445-3700.

The play reminded me very much of Wilder’s classic, “Our Town,” which examines love, living and loss in small town, USA.  It gives us a view of a world without all the trappings of our urban, concrete jungles to see folks that simply relate to each other on very organic grounds, not through a “glass darkly” but through the scent of flowers.  It is of lives lived, perhaps not always wisely, but with all the Senses active, reaching out to each other in the hope of making contact and creating a difference in another’s life.

This tale is told through the eyes of the town’s Photographer (Lena Kaminsky), who is able to capture moments in people’s lives, of memories of what was, is and can be.  And it is about love, all kinds, from unrequited, to unrealistic, to fantasies, to hard facts and, through it all, humans survive.  There is the Policeman (Ryan Vincent Anderson) who seems not to notice the attentions of the Waitress (Tina Chilip) at the local diner, but she is noticed by the Perfume Maker (John D. Haggerty) who happens to have the local Florist (Sharonlee McLean) pining for him.

But it gets even muddier, as the Hardware Store Owner (Anderson, again), still mourning for his dead wife, being pursued by an old flame, the Librarian (Chilip, again).  And then there is the naive Young Man (Ryan Tresser) and Young Woman (Kelly Godell) about to take the plunge, and the History Professor (Haggerty, again) and his Mystery Writer (McLean, again) wife nearing the end of their union.  And we haven’t even gotten to the oddest of creatures, the Gravedigger (Tresser, again), who just happens to talk to dead people.  You see how complicated it gets and to discover the outcome of all these intricate stories, you’ll just have to see it.
This is an endearing tale and told in a storytelling style, with only minimum set pieces, props and costume pieces.  Riordan has chosen well her cast and manages to keep the story from getting too confusing for an audience.  I especially liked the photograph projections (Projection Designer, Will Cotter, I assume, is responsible for them).  They gave a close-up view of all the little moments that people would normally hardly even notice.

And the performances were top-notch.  Kaminsky, as our guide, gave us just the right amount of joy, humor and sadness in her performance.  And I loved the writing and performance of the character of the Gravedigger (Tresser), very inventive.  This story harkens back to a time and place in our Pasts and gives us a glimpse of the make-up of people stripped of all the trappings of an electronic world.

I recommend this play.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.