Friday, April 2, 2010

From Sound to Sight at Mobtown

Currently presenting two new plays, Mobtown Theater at Meadow Mill mixes a dramatic search for sound with an even more dramatic search for sight.

Jim Cary's An Ounce of Blues follows a white soldier (Jack) who finally locates an obscure black guitarist (Mr. Walter) whom the solider has long idolized. The encounter between the two in the deep rural South centers on the reluctant performance on the blues guitar by Mr. Walter, complemented by the sudden love of Jack for Mr. Walter's perky assistant (Regina). As Regina, Lauren Blackwell lights up the piece which, despite its consistent "journey of discovery" structure, suffers from an overabundance of stereotypes about the Old South.

The tour-de-force of the evening is Joe Denison's Karovice. In this one-character play, a despairing artist delivers a brilliant monologue, where alliterations, puns, incantations, curses, prayers, and shards of memory trace the artist's progressive isolation. Powerfully acted by Mark Squirek, the mesmerizing monologue is illustrated by the artist's painting on originally blank canvases to express his harrowing mood swings. Ably directed by John Garner, the acrobatic performance by Squirek and the simple, primitivist stamp of the emerging paintings give the play its visual elegance.

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