Fatigue: Deep Feelings Spilled

Local Arts Reviews

Fatigue: Deep Feelings Spilled

The Off-Center Warehouse,

through October 11

This short play, neatly directed by Katie Pearl, exemplifies Physical Plant's theatricality, simplicity, and gentle humor. Two men find alternative ways to deal with loss and love, while interacting with puppets, a piano, a fishtank full of blood, and the audience, all rather tidily, and without spilling a drop. What does spill are submerged emotions as the two friendly sorts undergo a distancing from each other as the story unfolds. One man falls for a puppet character that becomes real, causing the other to voice and act his concerns.

Really, the play is so much more than this simplistic retelling: Playwright Steve Moore creates poetry for the stage. This wistful, thoughtful, humorous play is as enchanting as it is dark. Moore has delved deeply, again, into themes of love and grief, of renewal and survival, without romanticizing or narcotizing them. Humanity's pettinesses, and its wonders, are equally good sources in which Moore discovers a delicate new way of looking at the world.

Ron Berry and Carlos Trevino are the two real-life characters, if you will, and a more engaging duo will be hard to find. They work together with such ease, such complementary cohesion. From the moment the audience enters the theatre, they win our trust and can lead us anywhere. They are comedians, equally adept at what sound like off-the-cuff quips or with their light, physical humor, moving props and puppetry. Trevino shows off his musical talents, playing his original tunes. With very little effort, both actors move easily between humor and anguish, caring and chastising.

Perhaps the play slows for a spell at the end, as if it's unsure of itself as it nears a conclusion. But it does wind down as simply as it started, having opened a new realm of possibilities for glimpsing into our deepest, darkest parts.

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