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LETTERS TO EDITOR
a full-length play in thirteen scenes
When Quake made its debut at the Humana 2001 Festival our reporter, Chris Whaley singled it out for its fresh and distinctive voice. And right he is. Marnisch is funny but not simply stand-up comic funny. Her dialogue is as full of poetry as laughs and the often surreal romantic humor reveals layers of meaning with a decidedly feminist slant. Unlike her slight and not particularly theatrical Blur which was produced at MTC last season, Quake is far more ambitious and well worth seeing. -- especially The leading actress is Dannah Chaifetz (not Chalfert) Jacqueline Bowman plays That Woman (caption) so as staged by the Hypothetical Theatre Company's artistic director Amy Feinberg .
Ms. Feinberg has assembled a spirited cast of seven, all but two of whom handily fill multiple roles. Dannah Chaifetz's Lucy is an apt mix of naivete and determination. Jacqueline Bowman gets maximum dramatic punch from the complex role of Lucy's alter ego who has the power and energy that has eluded sweet Lucy. As she (That Woman) sums it up during an appearance in Lucy's dream: "Like most scientific pioneers, I'm called a crackpot . . . Unlike most scientific pioneers I have to dispose of a body. I am fucking brilliant. And that is pure energy. " As for those boyfriends she does in: " I knew what it was like to wish upon a supernova. I just wanted more."
Unlike the Humana Festival production which featured a moving sidewalk, Hypothetical's set designer Mark Symczak has done wonders with a small budget. The simple set, artfully lit by Randy Glickman, works beautifully for seamlessly navigating the many location shifts. His use of three green steamer trunks is sheer genius. Those trunks are an ever present metaphor for Lucy's moving on. They are also hilariously effective as bicycles, a convenience store counter and as the body of a car poised over a sprawled out garage mechanic.
For all the references to the laws of physics, Quake is hardly another Arcadia or Copenhagen. But its good writing and abundance of entertaining scenes (It's hard to pick a favorite -- Lucy as a beauty contestant?, Lucy and the psychiatrist?) make for a well-spent ninety minutes. At less than $20 a ticket, it also won't take a big bite out of your entertainment budget.
Other Hypothetical productions reviewed at CurtainUp
The Garden of Hannah List/
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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