Ms Lily’s Groove
It was like life is for me – I don’t know what’s going on, most of the time
September 12, 2014. I lost the plot line, but I’m sure it was because I wasn’t paying enough attention. Maybe the plot isn’t so important in this production, you know, to make it obvious, but that really isn’t what’s consuming my attention at the moment. Leaving the theater in musty, humid Houston mid-September air, after a day when it rained, when we’re going into Iraq again and bombing Libya, when school’s just getting going, I started to realize I wasn’t so concerned anymore about Stages Theatre denying us press privilege and even contact, about Main Street theater sending me an email saying they didn’t consider us worthy of press credentials, like we’re not the press. I wasn’t concerned about the plot confusions of the play I’d just seen. I was progressively amazing myself with the growing wonder at what I’d just experienced. In an almost empty theater with only 5 or 6 or so actual patrons, on this oppressive, muggy night outside, I just saw a troupe of 10 or so actors GIVE THEIR ALL to a performance of a Denise O’Neal play. They pumped their lines, they enunciated with precision even though their strong voices echoed off the walls of that almost empty black box and they played that play like it was the Tony Awards. I didn’t much enjoy the large part of the interaction between the actors, which was mitigated by the fact that most of the play is monologues, even to invisible people, voiceless folks beyond the fourth wall. That’s true. It is also true that those actors kept their energy up and played that play like it was a chamber event for King Louis. They made the play matter by how they acted so intensely in it, for it. I think that’s something really good to say about a group of actors. Maybe it’s an even better thing to say when the play is ….. uh…… all monologues that made me get lost. The drunk was so compelling to me. I could have watched that representation for much longer. It seems that Carl Payne inhabited the character. When his monologue called for speech with folks behind the fourth wall
or mimed passersby on the stage, his eyes focused so well on the place those passers were supposed to be that he made them more real than imaginary to me. There were many strong voices on the stage tonight and even the weakest portrayal was good.
I don’t know what benefits there are to putting on a series of monologues for multiple characters. Does it make sure that the actors don’t mess up by…uh, interacting? I guess it makes rehearsal schedules a bit less challenging?
You want to see some actors act their hearts out? Go on a slow night. Wow! I can’t even imagine if there’s a full audience what energy might be seen there on the stage