Front Row Center

By Michael Warren

I, Claudia
By Kristen Thomson
Directed by Lynn Phelan

 

front-rowThis is the first performance that I have attended at the new Bravo! Theater on Rio Bravo, at the same location as the well-known Naked Stage. It’s a small intimate theater, where the audience sits close and can really feel the action on stage. As a dramatic event at the new theater, Lynn Phelan and Jayme Littlejohn present us with an amazing one-woman show, originally written and performed in Toronto by Canadian actress Kristen Thomson.   

“Claudia” is a tween-ager (nearly 13 years old) whose parents have recently divorced, and she’s going through all the angst and anger of that precarious emotional situation. Jayme Littlejohn is entirely convincing as young Claudia, with body language that expresses her confusion. The cleverly constructed set is the boiler room of Claudia’s school, where she hides her secret cache of socks and other precious items – her goldfish and her strange science projects. Other characters include the janitor “Drachman,” her father’s girlfriend “Leslie” and (briefly) her grandfather.

With the use of masks, Jayme plays all four parts. It’s quite a performance, with the separate characters appearing on stage as if we had four actors in the cast. I’ve known before that Jayme is a talented actress, and here she puts on a show of extraordinary power and variety.

The play itself is interesting, but static in terms of plot development.    

Nothing much happens and the only discovery in the story is that Claudia finds out that her father was meeting Leslie long before her parents separated. We get to know the main character Claudia, and to some extent the girlfriend Leslie who is revealed to be fragile and needy under her bimbo exterior. The play ends with a beautiful story told by the janitor Drachman, and overall it’s a wonderful vehicle for a great one-woman performance.

The masks and set design were very well done by Rob Stupple. And I congratulate Lynn Phelan as the director on effective staging and emotional variety. This was a good play for the Bravo!, which provides a welcome additional venue for actors and directors in this small town.

The final play of the LLT season is The Dixie Swim Club, which is directed by Barbara Clippinger. I look forward to seeing this amusing and poignant play, which opens on March 27 and runs through April 5.     

 

 

Pin It
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren Don’t Dress For DinnerBy Marc CamolettiDirected by Roger Tredway   This Marc Camoletti play embodies all the
FRONT ROW CENTER By Kay Davis The MousetrapWritten by Agatha ChristieDirected by Roseann Wilshere   Mollie and Giles Ralston have a new hotel,
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren LookingBy Norm FosterDirected by Bob Coull   This entertaining comedy by Norm Foster is an ideal community theater
PAW PRINTS ON MY HEART By Gudrun Jones President/Co- Founder of the Lakeside Spay & Neuter Center   I believe in God but I also believe in
FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren   This musical comedy is a revival of the 1948 classic by Cole Porter, a play within a play with Shakespeare’s
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
  VICTORIA SCHMIDT   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Victoria Schmidt came to Mexico with her husband, in 2007. 
  ALEJANDRO GRATTAN-DOMINGUEZ   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Wrote/directed first movie about Mexican-Americans, Only
    MOONYEEN PATRICIA KING   Column: Profiling Tepehua   Website:   Settled in Mexico 13 years ago.  The
  KEN MASSON   Column: Bridge by the Lake   Website:   Ken Masson has been playing, teaching and writing about bridge
 Find us on Facebook