BWW Review: 100 PLANES - Filigree Takes Off With World Premier
Lila Rose Kaplan's, 100 PLANES gets its first full staging at Mastrogeorge Theatre under the direction of Elizabeth Newman. Set in 1997, the story revolves around an ambitious young Air Force pilot, Kay (Alani Rose Chock) and her intention to be chosen to fly the latest aircraft.
Back home on leave, Kay gets reacquainted with high school classmate David (Brennan Patrick). He's smitten and she's not as interested as he is. With a bit of stalker like behavior, David awkwardly manages to get her to write to him when she returns to base. Enter Anne (Karen Harrison), Kay's commanding officer who is even more ambitious than the young officer. Her 'don't ask, don't tell' (DADT) lover, Monique (Brittany Flurry) helps to amp up the pressure on Anne by wanting more than she is willing to give. This all plays out in a multitude of short scenes written in more of a cinematic style than a theatrical one. Director Elizabeth Newman keeps the show flowing with slick use of set pieces and the cast moving from scene to scene as effortlessly as possible. It's the little things that remind us DADT began in 1994, when homosexual relationships were alright as long as no one knew. Once you were discovered to be having a same sex relationship, you were given a dishonorable discharge from the military. It becomes clear that Anne's focus is on Kay and her obsession with reflected glory.
The cast as a whole is excellent and they work together very well. Brennan Patrick gives a stellar performance as the awkward young man who has been in love with Kay for years. He remembers everything and she had ignored him throughout school; sometimes romantic timing is a bitch. Patrick's portrayal of the shy boy, who slowly cracks his shell is very good. You can see him glow in her presence and mature too. It's very affecting. As Kay we see Alani's heart open more with every encounter. The girl who didn't think she deserves love, finds that she is hungry for it, she needs David to breathe. But she's also determined to see her mission through. As the tough as nails Air Force Colonel, Karen Harrison has laser focus, her eyes on her protege pushing her forward. Brittany Flurry is sexy as hell as the base commander's secretary, Monique, also sings at the officer's club while guarding her secret love for Anne. She is vulnerable in a way no other character in the play is and Flurry plays it beautifully. Chris Conard's lighting design as well as his set design is simple and elegant, easing the quick movement between scenes. Costumes by Jennifer Rose Davis are excellent, Monique's dresses are especially well done and perfectly fitted. Elizabeth Newman's direction is quick and efficient, keeping the performance tight. Kaplan's script is jerky in places and at times purposefully vague, but with such a well developed production one hardly minds.
Photo Credit - Steve Rogers
Filigree Theatre @ Mastrogeorge Theatre, 130 Pedernales St Ste 318, Austin
April 4 - 13 at 8:00 PM
Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission
Tickets: $30.00 filigreetheatre.com