THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

From left,&nbsp;Camille Monae, Mitchell Stephens and Garret Storms in <em>Reykjav&iacute;k</em>&nbsp;at Kitchen Dog Theater

Review: Reykjavík | Kitchen Dog Theater | Trinity River Arts Center


Closing this week on Sun, Jun 30
Next performance on Thu, Jun 27 at 8pm

Dark Lights

At Kitchen Dog Theater, the Rolling World Premiere of Steve Yockey's Reykjavík illuminates a beautiful collision of searching souls.



published Sunday, June 9, 2019

Photo: Matt Mzorek
Garret Storms and Mitchell Stephens in Reykjavík at Kitchen Dog Theater

 

Dallas — In playwright Steve Yockey’s dark-edged and supernatural Reykjavík, the audience eavesdrops on the knotty and tangled psycho-sexual intimacies between and among various characters, most of whom are queer. And some of whom fall outside the human spectrum: there are two huldufólk, or hidden people, for example, who populate Icelandic folklore and serve as otherworldly guides for a couple of sibling ghosts, and two murderous (and possibly supernatural) beings referred to as “Ambiance Sisters” who run a basement brothel (and possibly a sex-slave ring). Oh, and there’s a bird that falls in love and transforms into a human.

The lives of these hard-partying locals, tourists, hospitality and sex workers, huldufólk, and birds crash headlong into each other in the eight vignettes that make up Yockey’s trippy new play currently onstage at Kitchen Dog Theater, which, in 2016, premiered two Yockey plays, Blackberry Winter and The Thrush and the Woodpecker. As a core member of the National New Play Network, Kitchen Dog is participating in the rolling world premiere of Reykjavík along with Atlanta’s Actors Express (Oct. 27-Nov. 18, 2019), D.C.’s Rorschach Theatre (Feb. 8-March 3, 2020), and New Orleans’ Southern Rep Theatre (March 18-April 5, 2020). Kara-Lynn Vaeni, who most recently has directed for Second Thought Theatre, makes her Kitchen Dog directing debut.

The strong cast consists of six actors — Aaron Campbell, Justin Duncan, Camille Monae, Jo-Jo Steine, Mitchell Stephens, and Garret Storms — who tackle three to five roles each. It’s a pleasure watching them effortlessly shift among their various roles, recalibrating the tension between their characters and scene partners. And much of the action requires responding to something that happened in a previous and only tangentially related scene, so this play very much requires a taut ensemble.

Photo: Matt Mzorek
From left, Camille Monae, Mitchell Stephens and Garret Storms in Reykjavík at Kitchen Dog Theater

Dane Tuttle heads the outstanding technical team. The charming Icelandic set design by the gifted and prolific Clare Devries works well as the interior of a techno club, various hotel rooms, a sex dungeon, street scenes, and a rock outcropping beneath the northern lights.

In general, Lisa Miller’s lighting design captures the play’s brooding moodiness, but it’s odd that a play set in the middle of winter in Iceland, and in which some of the action takes place in the early morning (around 4 a.m.), doesn’t include a much-less-brightly lit stage. The opening scene in the techno disco, for example, could have easily relied on an unsteady flash of a strobe to offer even starker glimpses of the sinister action unfolding among the characters.

Mason York’s inspired and sometimes cinematic sound design, even during some lengthy scene changes, helps to set the tenor of the scenes while also serving as a palate cleanser for some of the play’s more intense action. The lighting and sound designs, along with H. Bart McGeehon’s projections, beautifully blend and balance, particularly in the final scene, to create some truly magical moments.

Though the supertitles that aid in “overhearing” a conversation taking place at a loud dance club could have been a bit tighter, they, as well as projections onto the set design of scene titles and setting, are a creative solution.

Cameron Cobb is responsible for the well-done fight choreography and the buckets (okay, so there’s only one bucket) of blood. Yvonne Johnson’s costume design shows both the frigid Icelandic winter and the convincing heat between scantily-clad actors. Intimacy choreographer Danielle Georgiou had her work cut out for her with scenes that take place primarily in various beds while actors are wearing little more than underwear. As usual, she and the rest of the technical crew meet the artistic challenge head-on.

This show runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Because of its explicit sexual content, adult language, simulated sex and drug use, and violence, both staged and implied, parental discretion is advised. During the fourth scene, which is goofily tender and surreally erotic, the characters share a joint, which fills the theater with a strong, unpleasant smoke. On opening night it seems that the prop wasn’t completely extinguished either as it continued smoldering even after the scene concluded. Audience members who are sensitive to smoke should avoid the first few rows.

Kitchen Dog’s production underscores the script’s liberal borrowings from horror, thriller, folktale, dark comedy, and even magical realism genres while still making a space for the tender narratives to unfold among characters yearning for intimacy and absolution in an all-too-violent world. Like the northern lights that beckon people from all over the world to Iceland, there is something beautifully mesmerizing about the storm of charged particles of Reykjavík that takes place onstage. It’s well worth the trip.

 Thanks For Reading




Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media

See all the dates
Click or Swipe to close
Dark Lights
At Kitchen Dog Theater, the Rolling World Premiere of Steve Yockey's Reykjavík illuminates a beautiful collision of searching souls.
by Frank Garrett

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie Jane fonda Undermain Patsy Cline Behind Closed Doors Multi Camp Garland Summer Musicals Watertower Jubilee Stage West Circle Theatre Uptown Players Piano Texas Mimir 2019 TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
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
audiocasts
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
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
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:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
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 :
Submit