Saturday, October 15, 2005
. . . Scorched Ice by Mansel Robinson receives a studied perfomance by Last Exit Theater . . . . . . the words are carefully crafted . . . the back & forth scenic structure drives the action past the target of the harrowing threat of nuclear holocaust during the Cuban Missile Crisis to a coming of age story . . . the voice of the play is strong and sure . . . rich & resonant in metaphor the sparse action is deliberate & evocative . . . the characters constantly tremble trapped or fleeing a harsh, inexplicable existence . . . the naive childish backdrop used to project the plodding of the nameless and phantasmagorical refugees or the universal night sky gives a luminous depth to the narrative . . . Yet . . . during my early training a wise man of the theater instructed: "cut the spoken which doesn't advance the action . . . let the actions speak" . . . a playwright needs to trust action . . . a director courage to keep the words on the page to release the action . . . the actor to play between the words to circulate action . . . the volatile nature of Scorched Ice demands not a well tempered serious reading but a free wheeling ride . . . Robert Benz, as the grandfather, held a flame to his hand challenging us to smell burnt flesh . . . lighter fluid filled the air . . . for a brief moment I flinched . . . took a sharp intake of breath . . . the lungs scorched . . . Skye Brandon and Last Exit Theater as part of the Live Five season continues to search for "new audiences" and broaden the theater landscape . . . a worthy aim . . . simply dare to risk more . . .