BWW Reviews: Green ZooTheatre's A NIGHT AT THE ZOO: AN EVENING OF ONE-ACTS Gets Their Audiences Thinking
Upon entering the performance space, you get a strange feeling. The lights are red and blue, for those of us lucky (or old) enough it's the feeling you got when you looked through a pair of the original 3-D glasses. It makes items take on that yellowish-greenish hue, like it might not be real. The house music was not music as much as a sound that puts you in a meditative state. This was going to be a surreal night ahead.
The first One Act we were introduced to was Waiting Games by Thomas Newby. The set was boxes and random items with a bathtub taking "center" stage. If you tried to catalogue them, you would have a hard time determining who those things belonged to or where they belonged, it seemed such a mishmash of "things". The audience seemed to feel some of this too, when they came in the filled the seats so randomly that they felt a part of the set as well.
Jeff Young and David Cowan are well trained actors. They were loud enough to be heard and very articulate. The story is a retelling of where we go and what happens when we die. There was no sense of time or place. There didn't seem to be a plot per se as much as just information being revealed.
There is an overall sense of being on the verge of craziness. The goal they appeared to be going for is one of peace and weightlessness. The scene ends with each character playing music; each one seemed to make their own music with their perspective instruments yet, it strangely made a beautiful piece of music together.
The audience was then politely dismissed so that the set could be changed without anyone getting hurt. They have a musician ready to entertain the audience in the foyer.
The second One Act performed, Like It Was Never There, was also written by Thomas Newby. Rod
Wolfe and Leah Reynolds were, respectively Wind Chime and the Wind. The story of their relationship as Wind Chime was aging and feeling lonesome for the wind more often. But the Wind has others she needs to visit and they have to make the time she is with him count. Again the actors were well trained and gave a good performance.
I look forward to seeing what else Thomas Newby will write and how he will develop as a playwright. A few issues with the night were: there was a lot of yelling to portray anger (at times it was hard to understand the words) and we had to be cued that the performances were over. I think in part the writing left us hanging and the performance was in the round so there were no curtains to close. Other than those few issues, I enjoyed my time at The WaterCooler watching A Night at the Zoo: An Evening of One-Acts.
Top Photo: taken by Zak Darbin, featuring Jeff Young and David Cowan
Bottom Photo: taken by Zak Darbin, featuring Rod Wolfe
A Night At The Zoo: An Evening of One-Acts produced by Green Zoo Theatre plays at The WaterCooler, 1401 W. Idaho Street, Boise, ID 83702. Continuing Thursdays - Saturdays Sept 12th - 21st @ 7:00pm (house). For tickets or information visit www.greenzooarts.com/theatre