Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stockholm @ 59E59 B

   Stockholm both a place and a state of mind. The play by Bryony Lavery and directed by Nick Flint is an intellectually stimulating look at abusive relationships and the devastating affects they will have if perpetuated.

   Christina Benne Lind plays Kali, a wonderfully passionate woman bent on enjoying life to the utmost. Without once losing the intensity of a woman deeply in love, we see her passion become raging manipulation and abuse towards Todd played by Richard Saudek. A game which they have played for years, wherein she become jealous of some past lover of his, convinces herself he is going to leave her and then seeks to destroy his will. The story is old, domestic abuse. It is a rarity though, in which we see it displayed from this perspective. Richard's transitions from man in love to caged animal is both seamless and heartbreaking.  Christina and Richard sizzle onstage. Their chemistry and tension so clear you can see it shimmering between them, a chord that tightens, both in love and inevitably, hate.

   Typical Bryony Lavery style, the script is static. Jumping between third person narratives and dialogue, it takes a moment for the audience to understand who the story is about. A ploy that is both confusing and yet, highly stimulating. This is clearly not just a story about a couple, but rather an inside glimpse into an abusive household and how it will affect the next generation.
   Natalie Lomonte's choreography compliments both the actors abilities and the script. A particularly beautiful piece near the end of the play is breathtaking to watch as we see this couple, whom we have come to know, start their abuse cycle all over again.

   Nick Flint's direction smooths over much of Bryony's static style making the show relatable to an audience. I found the actors speaking in tandem to be a bit disconcerting because they were not completely in sync with each other, a direction I understand thinking back on the show, but one that confused the audience during the production.

   Crew includes, Techincal Director Lou Albruzzese, Composer Estelle Bajou, Sound Designer Janie Bullard, Scenic Designer James Dardenne, Lighting Designer Mike Rigs, and Costume Designer Kenisha Kelly.

   Both erotic and disturbing, Stockholm is not a show to be overlooked, but a piece to be savored and discussed. This play is only running through March 29th, so be sure to get your tickets here.

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