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Well. Playwright Lisa Kron has created a character, Lisa Kron, who's writing a play — well, an exploration, insists the on-stage doppelgänger — dealing with Lisa Kron's relationship with her mother. It has to do with illness and healing, she informs the audience (no pesky fourth wall here), and the fact that her mother, a woman strong enough to fight racism and heal an entire community, surrendered herself to a lifelong nebulous and unnameable illness that she blamed on allergies. Kron has hired four actors to portray characters in the story. The trouble is, she's also allowed her mother, Ann, on stage, and there she is, reclining on a La-Z-Boy in her homey, cluttered room, addressing the audience herself (the first thing she does, after asking if we're comfortable, is offer food and drink) and correcting her daughter whenever she thinks it necessary. Lisa Kron may intend her play as an exploration, but not quite as much of one as this turns out to be. Pretty soon the actors are questioning the script and drifting across from Lisa's side of the stage to commune with her warmly comforting mother. Eventually, everything Lisa has painstakingly put into place evaporates. You could say Ann emerges the winner in the contest to define reality, but that would be meaningless. The real Ann Kron is still alive, but this Ann is a creation of Lisa's, an artistic double summoned as co-author. Kate Levy offers a beautiful performance as slightly brittle New York sophisticate Lisa, and Kathleen M. Brady brings her unique combination of strength and kindliness to the role of Ann. Well is about the need for understanding and about healing in every sense; it is also a very smart piece about how a work of art gets put together. Presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company through December 19, Ricketson Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-893-4100, www.denvercenter.org. Reviewed November 19.

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