Bare Theatre's Boys and Girls | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

Bare Theatre's Boys and Girls 

Boys and Girls

Bare Theatre
at Common Ground Theater
Through Feb. 21

There's more of a split decision when it comes to Boys and Girls, Bare Theatre's omnibus of three contemporary one-acts at Durham's Common Ground Theater. That description alone signals a potentially bracing departure from the company's usual Shakespearean bill of fare. But anyone anticipating a light valentine of an offering should steer their significant others elsewhere. While no first-date plays are in the mix, two of the three here have real potential to qualify for a last-date encounter.

Those of us who ultimately came to loathe either their own dolls or their siblings' during childhood will find the twisted humor in a young girl's serial toy killings at the start of Burying Barbie, a delectable cross between Calvin and Hobbes and Edward Gorey, with a little Emily the Strange to season. Under G. Todd Buker's direction, a rewarding Jessica Heironimus as little Rachel and a tender Richard Butner as a perhaps not so imaginary friend clearly recall just how earnest—and loopy—the made-up games of early childhood were, before playwright Christopher Dimond's script darkens into an examination of loss.

Buker's directorial success is unfortunately not repeated during boygirlboygirl, Jason Williamson's far-too-sketchy psychological profile of a loner who actually should have listened to the voices in his head. This time out, Buker's inexperienced actors and haphazard blocking can't overcome a flimsy script.

The evening's last work, company artistic director Carmen-maria Mandley's Ask Him in the Morning, literally asks us to sit in judgment on the central character, an audacious—and increasingly malevolent—theatrical named Gunnar. The premise is intriguing: that a damned soul stages his own worst deeds in a theater and then hands his fate to his colleague, an avenging angel of a professional actor named Kate, and, by extension, his audience. But what precipitates this crisis in the first place isn't clear, and while some flashbacks are adequately developed, others seem sketchy in comparison. Loren Armitage's alert—and irritating—lead character doesn't seem to ultimately connect with the marred soul who performed the earlier deeds, although Heather Hackford's Kate convincingly slips into a broad series of supporting roles, before coming out in deadly certainty. Still, the plot mechanics of the turned tables toward the end are muddy, in a work whose promise is still in need of another draft, at least.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

I commend Mr.Woods on his insight. There is a lot to think about in both his article and the following …

by natty on Justice Theater Project's superbly sung and choreographed The Color Purple has one fatal flaw (Theater)

I saw this show in Chapel Hills. This was the first time I had seen a Paperhand's show. It was …

by Irene Griest on Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s The Beautiful Beast Makes Merry With Monsters of Myth and Memory (Theater)

Great review! Fans of Decision Height and the Women's Theatre Festival may also want to check out The ArtsCenter's interview …

by The ArtsCenter on Superheroines Historical and Fantastical Power Two Memorable Women's Theatre Festival Shows (Theater)

Four of our friends accompanied us to this production. We have seen other Wendy Ward productions and loved them all …

by Gann Watson on Embark on a Timely Voyage Into Immigration Issues in I Wish You a Boat (Theater)

Thanks for the correction, Dustin. The playbill listed the wrong actor in the role.

by Byron Woods, INDY Theater and Dance Critic on Evaluating Bare Theatre's Experiment in Free Public Shakespeare on the Eve of Its Final Show (Theater)

Comments

I commend Mr.Woods on his insight. There is a lot to think about in both his article and the following …

by natty on Justice Theater Project's superbly sung and choreographed The Color Purple has one fatal flaw (Theater)

I saw this show in Chapel Hills. This was the first time I had seen a Paperhand's show. It was …

by Irene Griest on Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s The Beautiful Beast Makes Merry With Monsters of Myth and Memory (Theater)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation