Monday, February 15, 2016

Bright Half-Life at Pillsbury House Theatre

Bright Half-Life at Pillsbury House Theatre, written by Tanya Barfield and directed by Ellen Fenster, is perfectly titled.

Clocking in at a brisk 70 minutes, the play explores the romantic relationship spanning four and a half decades between Erica (Sarah Agnew) and Vicky (Jasmine Hughes) and takes place in short vignettes scattered through time.

We follow them through all of the events (and non-events) in a romantic relationship. Dashing back and forth in time, in seemingly random order, this show perfectly captures the elusive moments that make up life and love.
Jasmine Hughes and Sarah Agnew. Photo by Bruce Silcox.
With beautiful lighting by Wu Chen Khoo and a spare, but evocative set by Joseph Stanley, and subtle sound design by Katharine Horowitz, this play requires the viewer to sympathize and empathize with Erica and Vicky--even when they are showing their least sympathetic selves (as one does in a relationship at times).

The actors' work is exquisite, funny and moving and vividly realistic. The play itself is nearly perfect, with beautiful, realistic dialogue that captures the universality of life and love while still exploring a very specific relationship. Gorgeously done.