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A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
Slowly he moves in an ancient and graceful Kabuki-style dance, arms stretching, legs precise. In between he tells stories. The dancing serves as music, as rest, as an alternate art form.
In the stories he becomes four different denizens of retirement homes: Dora, an upscale lady; Flor, a former laboring man; Eucharia, Dora's maid who is obsessed with make-up and carefully paints it on; Gustus who faces the wall and bitterly recounts the shame of a wanton daughter. Dora is a mincing vixen, Flor is rough and angry, Eucharia is absorbed with her own appearance and Gustus withdraws from the world.
"All babies are born with their own personality," Kinevane. This reviewer first encoutered that personality in By the Bog of Cats in Dublin, but he's perhaps he's best known for the TV drama Ballykissangel. He started writing and performing his own plays a few years ago with Ireland's Fishamble Theatre which has brought him to Los Angeles's Odyssey Theatre.
The script is harsh and funny, though sometimes the Galecisms are incomprehensible. The characters are types, though Kinevane does them so well that it's not noticeable until you think about it afterwards. He gently pokes fun at them, though he lets them have their moments of anger.
There's no hint of an afterlife, no friendly visitors. It's a bleak tale or would be, if Kinevane werent such a vivid performer. He holds the audience in breathless thrall for every second of the 80-minute no intermission piece.
With his tall dignified posture, varied characterizations, and the mix of Kabuki dance with Irish storytelling, he paints a unique and unforgettable portrait. A mordant look at the end of life, he bravely holds the mirror up to its silliness, its despair and its vitality.