Theater Review — Danny and a Deep Blue Sea

April 14, 2015 - accent chair

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    Unexpectedly nestled divided in a bleak, gray piazza full of bureau spaces on W. Hillsborough Ave., The Heather Theatre is a 35-seat, non-profit veteran entertainment company.

    Founded by Kathryn Laughlin, a insinuate space donates a commission of sheet sales, donations and benefaction sales to internal charities, depending on a theme matter of any performance.

    There was not an dull chair in a room on Sat., Apr 11, as John Patrick Shanley’s widely achieved Danny and a Deep Blue Sea done a approach to a Heather stage. Shanley also wrote (and won an Academy Award for) 1987’s Moonstruck, and wrote/directed a critically lauded film instrumentation of his play Doubt (2008), that starred Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.

    Directed by Dahlia Legault — an singer who got her start in Tampa and has recently seemed on AMC’s The Walking Dead — a 75-minute prolongation suitably lacked an intermission. It is a singular kind of element that we would loathing to rip yourself divided from, even if we desperately indispensable a lavatory break.

    Danny opens in a deserted, dim dive bar in a Bronx in a early ‘90s. With a neon “Bar” pointer unresolved side-stage, a reasonably meagre set enclosed usually wooden chairs, a table, bar and bar stools. Roberta, played by K.D. O’Hair, sits during a bar, picking pretzels out of a play and outstanding them on a bar surface. On a conflicting side of a stage, Danny (played by Vincenzo Hinckley) slouches in a chair during a table, pouring himself mop after mop of beer, his knuckles and face visibly bruised.

    After several exchanged glances and scarcely a notation of silence, damaged usually by a sound of Roberta’s pretzel outstanding and Danny’s mop slamming, a dual dive into a sparse turn of banter. It fast evolves into a conflict of who can out-crazy a other.

    Adorned in admirably ‘90s get-ups (Danny in jeans, a white tank-top and non-stop symbol up, and Roberta in black fight boots, shorts and a denim symbol up), Danny speaks frankly about his gusto for fighting when Roberta asks about his bruises. Still sitting during conflicting ends of a bar, a dual take turns spilling intimate, unhappy sum about their lives — Danny about his unsuccessful relations and aggression, Roberta about her unsuccessful marriage, teenage pregnancy and loathing of her father.

    From a impulse she non-stop her mouth, O’Hair was pristine magic. She wholly inhabited a impression of Roberta — her New York accent was executed flawlessly, and she ideally straddled a line between feeling and vulnerability. She’s positively tough and a little scary, though (somehow) totally endearing.

    Physically, Hinckley is an ideal claimant to play Danny — dark, plain-spoken and handsome, he captures Danny’s antagonistic inlet during a bar scene. Still, it was formidable flay my eyes divided from O’Hair. Her energetic description of Roberta eclipsed all in her midst. 

    After divulgence their many insinuate secrets and apropos physically assertive with any other in a bar, a dual spend a night together in Roberta’s apartment. She tells Danny, “We are gonna adore any other.”

    The theatre lighting was darkened, though no screen closed. O’Hair and Hinckley changed a set to emanate a bedroom by putting a quilt and pillows on a wooden bar list and holding off their possess clothes, stripping down to a span of briefs and a little nightgown.

    When a lights came behind up, a dual are fibbing in bed after a night of intimacy. Roberta goes to a nightstand to light a candle, and (unexpectedly) she drops a illuminated compare on a stage. Without violation character, a dual actors responded to a collision humorously. 

    “I could’ve killed us both!” O’Hair improvised. She contingency have indeed meant that she could’ve burnt down a whole theater.

    This unscripted occurrence (which they confessed after curtain) worked to a actors’ advantage. Their trust was put to a test, and they prevailed. Both played off of one another’s invention seamlessly. Hinckley became generally loose after a incident. His opening for a rest of a play severely improved, as he became some-more uninhibited and honest.

    O’Hair remained enthralling during a scene. She achieved regulating any in. of her body, even girlishly curling her toes during Roberta’s vulnerable, witty moments. It was frighteningly good.

    Although there is really little restraint and a play is roughly wholly secure in dialogue, it would be dubious to contend that Roberta and Danny ever have a conversation. They only take turns delivering scattered, separate anecdotes (Roberta speaks about examination whales detonate out of a sea, and immediately after, Danny describes a poetic marriage he once attended).

    Despite a sparse inlet of a dialogue, a communication is pivotal in bargain who Danny and Roberta are. They pronounce to one another as if it has been years given they have emitted anything to another tellurian — all only spills out.

    Both characters are a form of people to bottle adult their many pardonable memories and their deepest thoughts until they truly trust someone. Danny and Roberta’s assembly authorised them to finally uproot a secrets that had been poisoning them. Both find redemption and softness, and they set any other free.

    Danny and a Deep Blue Sea‘s climax is positively heart slashing (I indeed felt a earthy pain in my chest). It is a impulse that is deeply cathartic for a characters, actors and assembly (I overheard a male withdrawal a museum contend that her cried twice).

    O’Hair and Hinckley delivered performances so genuine, so big, it felt as if a walls of a little Heather Theatre were prepared to detonate open during any moment.

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