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February 02, 1996 - Image 76

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-02-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

'Beast On The Moon'

PHOTO BY RICHARD TOPPER

S

mance like the name-
sake theater: a rose un-
folding, blooming and
revealing colors and fra-
grance.
Her husband — the
Beast on the Moon,
stoic, grief-driven Aram
which just opened at the
— is played well by
Purple Rose Theatre in
Danny Jacobs. Jacobs
wholesome Chelsea.
can be gruff, then kind,
At first, you think, a
embracing opposites so
naturally we may for-
domestic drama of the
near-past — the early
get he's acting. (Neither
part of the 20th centu-
he nor Fido are consis-
ry. A picture bride
tent with each other or
named Seta comes to
throughout the show in
their accents, however.
Milwaukee to be with
her married-by-proxy
Does it matter? Only a
husband, Aram. They
bit.)
are Armenian; she is a
As the narrator, Pe-
girl of 14, he a man in
ter Bellanca is natural
his 20s, and life togeth-
and unforced; the
young boy, Vincent, is
er is a series of adjust-
ments.
played by Anthony
Caselli in a spirited, en-
Soon, though, anoth-
ergetic way. Perhaps
er theme is glimpsed
his youthful enthusi-
just over your shoulder,
asm seems a bit like
as we hear the details of
nervousness, just a
Seta's life as a refugee,
shade too buoyant; then
her orphaning at the
again he also finds the
hands of Turks who
turned on their Christ-
truth in his big scene,
so why quibble?
ian neighbors in a jihad,
The production team
or holy war. Some of Beata Fido and Danny Jacobs portray Armenian immigrants who
this we learn from a try to start a new life together in America in Beast on the Moon,
has let no one down: an
excellent set and light
gentleman narrator running at the Purple Rose Theatre through March 10.
design by Francesca
who, very early on, tells
is a survivor, too, as is his wife.
Callow, graceful period-like cos-
us he is a witness, as we become.
And until they both weep for the
When the domestic tension es- dead, they cannot replace them, tumes by Edith Leavis Bookstein.
Overall, director Suzi Regan has
calates because Aram desperate- cannot move on.
understood the play and helped
ly wants a family and Seta comes
At the end of Beast on the
up empty (and goes from disobe- Moon a family has been created it and the actors find the right ki-
dient young girl to strong-willed and a small domestic tragedy has netic tone — the mimed sexual
pairing of the newlyweds, for ex-
woman), the pauses become
been averted. Some heal-
ample, is a beautiful piece of the-
pregnant as we seek rec-
ing has begun. We, and
ater.
onciliation. Then, final-
THEATER
they, are reconciled to our
And finally, Regan seems to
ly, Aram tells us the truth
tragedies.
know what the playwright,
about his family heirlooms
In this strong piece of theatri-
— the coat, the family photograph cal writing, the Purple Rose has Richard Kalinoski, was feeling as
with the cutout heads and his ter- found equivalent talents in actors. he wrote and helped put it on the
stage. Oh, yes, it may also be a
rible humiliation.
First, there is Beata Fido as Seta,
Survivor guilt is universal. the picture bride. Gawky and be- memory play, one of those rare
This is not news to many Jews, mused and juvenile as a 14-year- birds that infrequently fly in the
some of whose ambivalence about old in her early scenes, she theater.
1/2
surviving the Holocaust has pro- becomes willful as a young
duced learned papers, treatment woman, then strong as a wife and
—Michael H. Margolin
groups and guilt. Aram Tomasian surrogate mother. It is a perfor-

ometimes a play
creeps up on you,
catches you un-
aware and you
find yourself infatuated.
Such is the case with

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'The Double Infidelity'

Terre Marivaux's The Dou- on a country couple, Robin and
ble Infidelity, which has Sylvia, who find, in the course of
just gone into repertory at a few days, that they can learn to
the Hilberry Theatre, is love a prince and a gentlewoman,
from the post-Moliere period of Flaminia. It is Flaminia, at the
prince's behest, who plots
French theatrical writing.
As such, its attraction is ilEMM) to bring this love fest
about, first by taking on
as much historical as
Sylvia. "She has a
dramatic. Only recently
have Marivaux's plays been re- heart...all I need is to bring her
discovered, so there is a cachet to down to where women live."
Wendy Gough, as Flaminia,
this enterprise as well.
The Double Infidelity centers holds this banal plot together

with the glue of her handsome
presence and bearing. She also
knows how to invest a line of di-
alogue with a wink, a nod, a moue
in her voice or movement. It is a
charming performance.
Charm is what one wants —
since from the get-go we know
that romance will have its way
and Flaminia her day. The
promise of charm is evident
when, upon entering the theater
from that shallow tunnel, one

cY
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