Sunday, December 09, 2007

REV: Dark of the Moon

Friday night after watching Rhinoceros at St. Ed's i zipped down to Wimberley with Louie Bond to watch their fall production -- Dark of the Moon. It was a fantastic show, just as i would expect from that program.

Andy Patoski was mesmerizing as the Witch-boy John -- he's been a real presence on stage for them in the last few years that i've been watching their shows, but this performance has to be his zenith. His witch persona arced beautifully from the longing of the distraught boy not in a world of his choosing to the final wickedness of realizing his place. It was his human John though that was heart-breaking; his ability to portray real love for Barbara Allen while battling the sublimation of his true nature that was so powerfully delivered. I can't wait to see where he, and all the others, end up in their One-Act piece.

There were a lot of standout performances, in fact no distracting ones, but i was much impressed by the singular Bonnie Sturdivant as Barbara Allen. She was stunningly delicate in the role, and has a voice that would melt diamonds. She too had to run a character gamut from the emotionally innocent, if not uninoculated, girl bewitched by the stranger, to the desperate mother of a lost child coming to grips with the true nature of her paramour. Splendidly made.

Chris Bakka's Preacher Haggler was superbly drawn -- a hellfire and damnation strict-taker unless it involved his own weaknesses. It is he who forces John back to the realm of the witches with his command for a sexual exorcism -- a deed that dooms the congregation to a dire provincial lifetime, and Barbara to her foretold death. Chris manages to summon up every contradiction possible in guiding his flock.

Calen Cabler and Erin Lyon were simply beautiful in delivering their Fair and Dark Witches as eagles. They conjured the gracefulness of the latter while performing evilly as the former. Constantly cutting brilliant swatches of color across the drab stage, their ear-splitting cries also fully represented the dichotomy of evil and grace.

Joseph Beavers as Marvin Hudgens was hilarious; Kelsey Wilson and Cameron Allen as Barbara's parents had their roles rightly nailed; Dylan Bakka as the shamed Hank Gudger was sublime in his confessing. . . and I guess i could single out everyone but there were 35+ students impeccably performing on that stage, and i reckon i'm not going that far. I wish i were writing this at a time when i could encourage folks to check it out, but this was the end of it this weekend. Nevertheless, i'd give a constant prod to check out their performances, i've never seen anything but fine, fine work from them.

Here's some pics (you can left-click on them to get hi-res versions, and then right-click and "save image as" to download them):

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