Review: TIDE at The Filigree Theatre

Tide at The Filigree Theatre is now closed. Read more for a review and Interview with Director Elizabeth V. Newman and what is next for The Filigree Theatre company.

By: May. 05, 2023
Review: TIDE at The Filigree Theatre
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Faith is very personal, and it manifests in different ways for different people. Some believe in miracles while others believe in destiny, but we can all agree that life is a journey that takes us through unique paths until we get to the same destination. In a small town on the coast of California, a beach town community copes with the past in different ways and the ocean acts as a cleansing force that gives opportunity to new beginnings. Tide, written by Molly Wagner and directed for The Filigree Theatre Company by Elizabeth V. Newman was part of the Season Four "By The Sea". While this production is now closed, The Filigree Theatre is hosting the "Gold and Silver Gala", a fundraising event on May 11th, 2023. Read more about the Gala and what is next for director Elizabeth V. Newman in my interview for Broadway World.

A compelling story centered around the complexities of faith and religious beliefs, Tide challenges us to think about fate versus the power of prayer. As a child, Lauren (Minerva Villa), tried to rescue a young boy Milo (James Lindsley) who ultimately drowned in the ocean but was brought back to life "by the power of prayer." His story generated a best-selling book and 10 years later, a documentary about his miraculous recovery is in the works. The producer of the documentary wants to involve Lauren in the story that she was left out of all those years ago but she herself is struggling with her own feelings of fear and faith.

Ms. Villa is charming and believable as the young woman struggling to overcome her own fears of facing the ocean after failing to save the young boy. When the town and the boy's mother attribute the miraculous recovery to the power of prayer, they diminish Lauren's involvement in the rescue and invalidate her own post-traumatic feelings. 10 years later, a director of a documentary on the event (Benjamin Bazán) comes to town to get Lauren's side of the story and he suddenly awakens insecurities, fears, and frustrations that Lauren kept buried all those years. The question of religion and faith comes to light very clearly to the audience: is it fair to push one's beliefs onto others in a way that invalidates their own personal beliefs? My response to this question is always "no" but I leave it up to the readers to ponder and determine if being righteous is more important than doing the right thing.

Mr. Lindsley gives Milo, the boy who came back to life 10 years ago, a kindness that allows us to understand what it is like to be caught between the two forces that drive the town. He, as much as Lauren was affected by the strength of the town's religious beliefs. They are both stuck in the past, unable to move forward with their lives, unable to face an ocean of possibilities.

Benjamin Bazán as Cal, the documentary's director, adds lightness to the story as he breaks the shell that Lauren built around her heart for years. Cal challenges Lauren to break free and tell her side of the story. The chemistry between Ms. Villa and Mr. Gazan is refreshing and natural as they both light up the stage with comedic banter and natural skill.

The cool thing about the theatrical experience in Austin, Texas is that you can enjoy quality theatre in unique venues. Tide performed at the Moontower Cider Company where an austinite beer-tasting parlor was turned into a coastal town bar under the creative hand of Alison Lewis. With a bit of imagination, you could even taste the salt in the air or hear the waves of the ocean crashing against the pier.

Tide at The Filigree Theatre showed directorial and artistic courage and compassion as Ms. Newman was able to deliver a play that purposely leaves much unanswered and unresolved. An enjoyable performance that makes me want to see what Ms. Newman will bring to the stage next season.


Book by Molly Wagner

Directed by Elizabeth V. Newman

The Filigree Theatre


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