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Where we’re born is more than a location, it’s part of who we are.
Where We’re Born, the stage play by Lucy Thurber, is a strikingly simple and honest look at a young woman’s struggle with life change, the desire to and difficulty of leaving the comfort of your home and history—however hurtful it may have been. It is not a story, but a more like a series of snapshots taken during the course of a few days when the relationships and potentially, lives of three people are forever altered.
The catalyst for all of this is Lilly (Jessicah Neufeld), on a quasi-vacation from college. She arrives back in the small Western Massachusetts hill town she calls home just as a domestic crisis is unfolding between her cousin, Tony, (Brian Harrower) and his girlfriend, Franky (Kelley Ogden), but rather than creating a welcome diversion, she unleashes unexpected drama of her own.
The cast of five, under the direction of Lisa Thew, gives solid individual performances, as well as performing keenly and comfortably as an ensemble.
Harrower gives an especially subtle, but emotional and compelling interpretation of Tony, a guy who spends most of his time drinking beer, smoking pot, playing pool, and listening to rock and roll with his best buddies, but also has a deep-seated need to keep all of the women in his life happy.
David Chernyavsky and John Gregory Young round out the cast as Tony’s ever-present pals.
Ooley’s is a little-known theater, intimate, but more than adequate. KOLT Run Creations makes good use of the space, and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Even the concessions are notable, provided by Num Nums, homemade for each performance and chosen specifically for each show. (Lime mini-cupcakes: To. Die. For.)
Having just seen another local show earlier in the week, it was impossible not to compare and contrast the quality of the productions. The lead actress in the previous show tripped over numerous lines (more than a week into the run) and--along with others in the cast--over the area rug that kept flipping up throughout the show.
Not fatal mistakes, but distracting flaws.
When the lights came up at the end of Where We’re Born, my guest and I turned to each other and marveled that two hours had already passed.
That’s a rare and excellent entertainment experience.
If only there’d been more people there to share it.
Where We’re Born, February 3rd-26th. Ooley Theater, 2007 28th Street (near T Street). Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM; Sundays, February 19th and 26th at 2 PM. koltruncreations.com or (916) 454-1500. This production contains adult content.