Saturday night I went for a jaunt to the West Bank. I went to see The Whale by Samuel D. Hunter.
Wow. I'm not even sure how to start this.
From the Walking Shadow website:
On the outskirts of Mormon Country, Idaho, a six hundred pound recluse hides away in his apartment, eating himself to death. Hoping to find an honest human connection, he reaches out to his long-estranged daughter, only to discover a viciously sharp-tongued teen. Big-hearted and fiercely funny, The Whale tells the story of a man's last chance at redemption, and of finding beauty in the most unexpected places.
Beyond the recluse and his daughter, throw in an ex-wife, a best friend, and a Mormon boy who may or may not be on his mission and you have an incredible two hours ahead of you. I have to be honest, it is a difficult piece but completely worth seeing. In fact, I am still thinking about the work and have been most of today. There is a lot to think about and I could write more about the work, the plot, etc - but I think the less you know going in, the better.
All you need to know is that I think the small cast is perfect. Zach Curtis, Zach Garcia, Jennifer Maren, Katie Adducci, and Julie Ann Nevill make up this amazing ensemble. The show is thought provoking, moving, funny, and may make you feel a little uncomfortable. The experience though is worth going through. I look forward to seeing more work by Samuel D. Hunter, and I know that I will be back to see more work by Walking Shadow. Check out their website for more info.
Also, if you want to know more about the playwright, Lindsay Barenz from Maxamoo had a wonderful interview with Mr. Hunter. You can check out the podcast here.