Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Now Playing - Right Down Broadway’s Production of “Voices of Swords”

"Voices of Swords" is a winner. The play's premise of dealing with aging parents is very familiar to our collective consciousness. What playwright Kari Floren so beautifully illustrates is the power struggle that occurs between parents, children and siblings during this life cycle. The relationships in the play are completely believable and the characters are richly portrayed with verve, humor and truth by this excellent acting ensemble. Loni Ackerman’s steel in the face of adversity is something to behold in the role of Olivia – a woman who is facing heart surgery a year after the passing of her own husband. Celia Schaefer is beautifully engaging in the role of Alexis – the professional organizer who is unwittingly thrust into a war between Olivia and her son Kosey while dealing with her own struggles regarding her parents and siblings. Bob Ari and Gillien Goll are touching and dynamic as Alexis’ parents. Philip Christian’s performance of Kosey is acerbic and colorful as we see him dealing with the changing role of his mother. Michael McKenzie’s performance of Alexis’ ex husband, Matthew, is honest and unfettered and gives us hope that when couples divorce there can still be a civil and caring relationship between former partners.

Regarding the creative team, Eve Brandstein’s direction is simple and powerful. Doss Freel’s set is uncomplicated and quite effective as the perspective is placed on angles not allowing audience members to view the action completely dead on thereby creating a sense of tension in the scenes. Composer Roger Murdock’s minimal late sixties/early seventies style jazz music (Fender Rhodes included) moodily enhances the scene changes accordingly. The production values overall are of the best quality.

So often we see older characters marginalized and the message sent that one could not possibly be interesting after the age of 40. “Voices of Swords” shows us that we can be engaging and passionate about life at any age. Support live theater at its best and go. You will not be disappointed.

“Voices of Swords” runs Wednesday, August 20th through Sunday, September 7th, 2014. Details can be obtained here.