Friday, February 2, 2018

Madness of Lady Bright & TRANS-formation—Triangle Productions!—NE Portland

 “…no place like home”

     These two one-acts, the first written by Lanford Wilson, and the second one written by Donnie, are both directed and designed by Donald Horn (costumes, sound and set) with Lighting Design by Trevor Sargent and Tech/Stage Management by Kendra Comerford.  It is playing at their space in The Sanctuary, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd. (free parking in the lot to the West of the building), through February 24th

  For more information, go to their site at or call 503-239-5919.

     Lady “Leslie” Bright (Gary Norman) is lonely on a hot summer day in NYC in his apartment in the mid-70’s.  He has two outlets to the outside world, his telephone, which is totally mute on the other end when calling friends, except for the dial-a-prayer number, which is good to know that God always answers.  The other connection is his wall of names/signatures, reflecting very specifically on the actual persons themselves, from miniscule to bold, from flamboyant to timid, all having skipped by now the “…light fantastic, having fallen in love with long distance” (T. Williams).

     His world now consists of voices in his head, real and imagined, the stimulating music of Mozart, dancing from one era to the next, and his array of finery for his next, hope-filled encounter.  He is, quite frankly, simply looking for a place to belong, a comfort from the darkness, a place called…home.  Doesn’t he realize that he only needs to click his heels together three times and he’ll be there?!  Personally, I sincerely hope he makes it to his personal Wonderland.

     Wilson’s play is cited for being one of the first ones of any note to concentrate on gay issues.  Norman is extraordinary as the individual who only wants to be loved.  His portrayal of a slow descent into this gray world of “madness,” in such a short period of time, is quite remarkable.  And Horn is the master is conducting him, and the audience, into this exploration and exposition of alienation and loneliness.


  Becoming Oneself

     This is a very brave piece by someone, Christine (nee, George) Jorgensen (Matthew Sunderland), in the late 40’s who, although discharged from the army and coming from a loving home, felt that life was not just ahead of him as a man, but was passing him by, as he, from an early age, had felt he was a female trapped within a male’s body, yearning to break free.  His closest ally was his sister, Sally (Jacquelle Davis), as well as a supportive family.  But that was not enough to quell the real being within.

     And so a trip was necessary to Denmark to get the help he needed.  He met there Dr. Christian Hamberger (Mark Pierce) who took him in as a research subject in an area declared taboo in many societies, to transform physically a person from one gender to another.  It had been attempted before some years earlier in Germany but the patient died as a result.  And so now, history was waiting to be made.  But it would be a long and arduous journey together.

     To tell you more would spoil the revelations made during this story.  Sunderland is amazing in a very difficult role and he pulls it off, giving us a full view of the male/female conflict.  Horn certainly has his hands full here, both having written the story, as well as directing it.  And he has chosen the best person for the lead, which should always be the case when casting.  It also helped to have some visuals of the real Jorgensen’s life.  Hopefully this play will continue to grow, as it would be helpful, being that it’s now a one-act, to expand it to include her later life as she grew older.  I can certainly envision this going to The Big Apple in time to get universal recognition, and acceptance.

     I recommend both these plays, both from an educational aspect, as well as damn good acting, writing and theatre.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.


No comments:

Post a Comment