BWW Review: INTERNATIONAL DELIGHTS Takes You on an Emotional Journey to Love at THEATRE DOWNTOWN

BWW Review: INTERNATIONAL DELIGHTS Takes You on an Emotional Journey to Love at THEATRE DOWNTOWN

Opening yourself up to sharing of yourself is no east task. It's scary, funny, sad and draining. In the end, the journey is worth putting yourself out there to be held and to hold someone else. Theatre Downtown is offering "International Delights" as a tapestry of six plays that are set in various locations all over the world. Written by Rich Mansfield & Daniel Martin, each play has a different director and cast. There is a through line in each of the plays that embrace the power of love and its many complicated layers.

BWW Review: INTERNATIONAL DELIGHTS Takes You on an Emotional Journey to Love at THEATRE DOWNTOWN"I Know Why the Caged Homer Sings" is Martin's tale of Dennis (Seth Burgess) and Harold (Mark Nelson). They are the best of friends who are about to separated for the first time as they head off for college. The play opens on them deep in the woods in a search for a mysterious creature. The outing provides opportunity for both to express true feelings of vulnerability, acceptance and the layers of their friendship.

BWW Review: INTERNATIONAL DELIGHTS Takes You on an Emotional Journey to Love at THEATRE DOWNTOWN"The Night He Came Back" is Martin's delightful story of Gwendolyn (Celeste Burnam), a frail elderly woman in a nursing care faculty. She is troubled by both symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and a loud and non-nonsense Nurse (Bliss Bailey). She is suffering with regret as she opens the pages into her past. The evening reveals her symptoms are more than anyone could ever wish for.

BWW Review: INTERNATIONAL DELIGHTS Takes You on an Emotional Journey to Love at THEATRE DOWNTOWNMansfield's "Beach Blanket Confidential" is an encounter of two ladies from opposite sides of life. A Sorority girl Katie (Wendy Morrell) and recently divorced Rachel (Harper Wood) find themselves in a dilemma. The budding friendship discovers they have more alike then expected. Tossing caution to the wind they share support, encouragement and brazen inhibition. Wood gives a performance with much warmth, charm and comedy. Her subtle nuances alone had the audience laughing.

"Mime One and Only" is Mansfield's hilarious story of the first time a father (Judd McCluney) meets his son Zach's (Blake Tanner) new French girlfriend Ami (Stephanie Cozby). The character work in this selection is kicked up several notches. The actors have a clear connection to their roles, leading to some hilarious and touching moments. Cozby's full force comedic delivery is out of this world. She lights up as if she is a cartoon come to life.

BWW Review: INTERNATIONAL DELIGHTS Takes You on an Emotional Journey to Love at THEATRE DOWNTOWNNext is Mansfield's "Da". A story focused on uncovering the heavy emotional strain, and pain as an adult son cares for his elderly father. Doug O'Neil Jr richly performs the role of the Son. He brings realism to the role and opens up his heart. Proper care to cadence and delivery gives the audience a physical and emotional response. From my seat I could see the audience moving almost in unison as they each wiped away tears during O'Neil's performance.

BWW Review: INTERNATIONAL DELIGHTS Takes You on an Emotional Journey to Love at THEATRE DOWNTOWN"Even Demigods Get the Blues" is family story of self-discovery and acceptance. The Goddess's Aphrodite (Delta Louise Carter) and Helena (Penny Thomas) are peacefully tucked away enjoying life on a Greek island. This peace is soon shattered when in storms a pissed off Miranda (Mary Rose Kitchens). She is a young woman in a wedding dress, hunting for her father that did not show up at her wedding. She's seeking her father and answers. The cast is rounded out with a hip and syncopated Greek Chorus (Christina Robin, Julia Levy) and Young man (Drew Morris)

You do not need a passport to travel to Theatre Downtown for "International Delights". The performances are full of material and deliveries that stir up you heart and memories. This show helps you see that the goodness in love is everywhere, and in everyone.

Theatre Downtown

International Delights: 6 Short Plays About Love Around the World

Written by Rich Mansfield & Daniel Martin

"I Know Why the Caged Homer Sings" Directed by Jonathan Sweatt

"The Night He Came Back" Directed by Mel Christian

"Beach Blanket Confidential" Directed by Rhonda Erbrick

"Mime One and Only" Directed by Jimmy Ellenburg

"Da" Directed by Josh Roberts

"Even Demigods Get the Blues" Directed by Kathleen Jensen

March 15-31

8pm

Theatre Downtown

2410 5th Ave S, (in Fifth Ave Antiques)

Birmingham, AL

For tickets and more info - theatredowntown.org or (205) 565-8838

Photo Credit: Steven Ross

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