by Michael Meigs
On their opening night Hannah Kenah and Jenny Larson attracted an audience with lots of youngish faces more often lit by footlights, spots and stage lighting than by house lights. Those audience members were happily anticipating an entertainment that had been in gestation for two years. The two well known and well liked Austin actresses had presented workshop versions of Guest by Courtesy in May and November 2009 as part of the SVT's Works Progress Austin series.
They begin your evening with a lengthy cryptic tableau, a kōan of the brash physical comedy that is to come. The brightly lit black box performance space is anchored by a sofa set at center stage, draped with a white sheet. Two pairs of motionless bare feet are on view, the only parts visible of two persons seated or more likely reclining beneath that cover.
There's a silent motionless prologue going on here for those who aren't busy finding seats, climbing past audience knees, texting, listening to the hectic top 40s soundtrack or chatting: whose feet are we seeing? The pair at stage left are slim and almost self-effacing but there's a gauze bandage wrapped around one big toe; the pair at stage right are strongly defined, forthright with fiercely rampant big toes, the sort of feet that might be used for kicking butt. You have about twenty minutes to place your mental bets; I got mine wrong.Read more at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .