Thursday, September 04, 2008
CRIMINAL MINDS: KIRSTEN STARS IN "MILK" AT THE THEATER OF NOTE
Criminal Minds: Kirsten Vangsness, Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds, is once again acting at the wonderful "Theater of Note". If you are in the area I wouldn't miss this.
GO: SPIDER BITES - Consider this assortment of 11 short selections from the Jacqueline Wright sketchbook a fine introductory primer to the playwright's signature Dadaist inversions of romantic love. The pieces play like prosodic postmortems of relationships gone horribly wrong. With Wright, characters don't fall in love so much as become ensnared in predatory webs of their own inchoate yearnings, unalloyed cruelties and unnatural appetites. The love bites here carry gruesome venom. Thus, in "Milk," Kirsten Vangsness' psychically crippled black widow in a wedding dress satisfies her voracious need for something "warm and red" by literally consuming beau David Wilcox. Likewise, "Mantis" finds a shell-shocked Lauren Letherer prodded by her conscience (Scott McKinley) into coming to terms with "the dead guy ... on the floor." In "Sleeping Spider," a young victim of incest (Vangsness) takes refuge from her broken family by retreating into the fantasy of her own crayon wall drawings come to life. "Pops" shifts gears in a comic burlesque of a gender-switched melodrama, as Lynn Odell, Mandi Moss and Wilcox enact the dénouement of a homicidal triangle. But Wright can also transcend the bitter, as with "Beautiful," a sweetly moving meditation on mortality, loss and the authenticity of even a dying love. Director Dan Bonnell matches Wright's viscerally vivid poetry note for note with graphically compelling stage imagery, precisely tuned blocking and a razor-sharp ensemble. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 4. (323) 856-8611. -LA Weekly