\"Waking Up\"

Sound the Alarm

Loop review: Greyman Theatre Company explores the concept of Waking Up at WaterTower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival.

published Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The bed occupies a unique place in life. It's a portal between the sleeping and waking worlds. Between dreams and reality. And it's this cosmic purgatory where Kelsey Ervi explores the depths of human emotion and how this distinctive setting affects us.

Waking Up, from the Greyman Theatre Company, is about just that. Through a series of vignettes, Ervi plumbs the multitude of situations, good and bad, that accompany waking up in bed. A simple concept sure enough, but Ervi uses it effectively, for the most part.

The ensemble features Joshua Gonzalez, Nellsyn Hill, Francisco Lopez, Jr. and Kelly Nickell, who each play several parts. They are the production's strongest point. Without a competent cast, this concept could have come dangerously close to being a boring mess of incongruity.

The vignettes themselves are sometimes random and sometimes interconnected. There is no rhyme or reason in their overall order or organization, embracing the randomness as an added nod to the unpredictability of waking feelings, but ultimately leaving some plot threads unresolved. The reasoning of why some stories get a through-line and multiple scenes versus others only getting one is unclear.

The physical setting, as might be expected, is simply a bed. To vary the staging, the actors will move the pillows around the four sides of the near perfectly square bed. It's a savvy decision by director Emily Christine Smith as it prevents the action from getting stale.

But the strength of this show is in its cast. Whether it's Gonzalez and Hill playing a young married couple still very much in love, Gonzalez and Lopez playing a couple on the tail end of a relationship, or Nickell sneaking out on Gonzalez after a one night stand, each of the actors brings a distinctive approach to each of the two or three characters they play. Happy or sad, gay or straight, young or old, Smith mines strong performances from her young cast.

Ervi has cast an inquisitive eye on an oft-overlooked yet singularly interesting time in people's lives. With this cast, it's worth opening your eyes for.

◊ To see a complete schedule of shows and venues, go here.

◊ WaterTower is streaming several shows and events at Out of the Loop. To watch them on our site, click the US Stream icon at the top of this page. It will open a separate tab. The streaming schedule is also included there. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
Sound the Alarm
Loop review: Greyman Theatre Company explores the concept of Waking Up at WaterTower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival.
by Kris Noteboom

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :