Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dying City by Christopher Shinn, Capital T Theatre at Blue Theatre, January 19 - February 6 (seven performances)

Emptiness echoes from our first moments with
Dying City. Motionless on the sofa, Liz Fisher as Kelly sits listening vacantly to Stephen Colbert's bright, acerbic chatter. She fingers a book; shifts her position; pushes at the stack of papers on the coffee table. An open cardboard box on the floor suggests packing or at least some interrupted task of organization. The buzzer sounds. Someone is downstairs and wants to come up.

Dying City is not about Iraq. It's not about politics, either or about the war. Unless it's the war between men and women, made vivid for us by two gifted actors and three characters as a persistent, largely silent guerrilla war of emotional attrition.

Kelly's a therapist, psychologist and counselor. And, since this time last year, a widow. She's a young woman for whom time has slowed and meaning has ebbed away.

She understands that she needs to heal herself, but she lacks the will and energy to do so.

We learn this gradually, by witnessing her reluctant reception of Mark Scheibmeir as Peter, her brother-in-law. In an acute emotional crisis he has sought her out, unannounced, renewing his previously failed effort to establish some sort of complicity with her.

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