Sunday, July 05, 2009

Reminders of Home


Living near Belmont Harbor and the lake I am accustomed to the drone of jet planes for the better part of a week each June when the Air and Water Show is in town. This experience made me feel at home this evening as I attended a performance of the world premiere production of Graceland by Ellen Fairey at Profiles Theatre.
In addition to the drone of jets Graceland provided a real sense of being in Chicago and the characters who inhabited the world of this play were each very real in their own way. Even though they had moments of messing around with mythology the play itself had a classical balance as the relationships of the two fathers (one dead) and sons mirrored each other. The result was an exciting, even electric evening of theater with great performances by the whole ensemble.

I thought Jackson Challinor was especially convincing as Miles the teenage cemetery worker who is on the cusp of manhood. His tentative moments with Sarah (Cheryl Graeff) were exquisite. Yet the edgy scenes between Sarah and her brother Sam (EricBurgher) were also convincing as they each tried to deal with the loss of their father. The best moments occurred as the relationships slowly developed and came together over the short ninety minutes of the drama. Comic moments relieved the tension, and the wonder of the sky at the end left me with a good feeling about their world. This is a play worth seeing again.

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