BWW Review: WITH LOVE AND A MAJOR ORGAN at Boise Contemporary Theatre
As part of their twenty-third season, the Boise Contemporary Theatre presents "With Love and Major Organ." By Julia Lederer and directed by Julie Ritchey. This is their biggest season yet. From productions like Rabbit/Moon written by Dwayne Blackaller and Matthew Cameron Clark. All the way to the production I'm about to talk about. This theatre was started when the realization struck that Boise didn't have A Contemporary Theatre. It's all thanks to the contributions from people all over for this theatre to continue going.
Now, let's get into the show. I'll be honest when I say upon hearing about this production, I had no idea what to expect. What I believed I'd see was a tragic "Romeo and Juliet-esque" story. This was where I was immediately wrong. Each character brought a sense of Human Nature to life, from the ways the interactions between each character was portrayed. All the way to the twists and turn the story brought. I went from laughing one moment to having my heart ripped out the next. This story was filled with edge and humor, and some moments which if you blinked. You'd miss the pure electricity that lit the stage.
Julia Lederer's script was beautiful and original. Poetic and heartbreaking. Lederer gave elegance and simplicity to a script so edgy and true to a modern society, where love is so easy to give but getting it back is unexpected. Even with three characters, I'm sure everyone can find a character they relate to.
Now let's move on and take a minute to talk about the actors in the show, each person in this three-person cast did an incredible job making it seem there were more than what was on display. From the way Lynn Allison portrayed Mona, a woman obviously broken. She had her heart broken time and time again. At this point in her life depending on the safety of routines. From talking to a Google Therapy site to saving the papers for her child George. Mona believes she will save her child the pain of heartbreak by giving a paper one in their direction. Next is Sarah Price as George. Sarah's portrayal of Mona's child, who in this production was female in the first all-female cast of the show. (With the permission of Julia Lederer.) Sarah showed so much edge in this character, from a numb woman unable to wake her entire body in the morning. To a character so filled with life due to another's heart. This leads us to Juanita Anderson's as Subway Rider/Anabel. Anabel is on the opposite side of George, where her heart is filled with so much love. Where her heart is so ready to be open. She records her own thoughts into letters on a cassette tape. Recording them and handing them to George in a brightly colored envelope. Each actress on the stage had a clear bond not only with each other but with their own selves. I applaud them for this.
The set though small had so much color and so much light to it. From the subway set up, allowing the audience to see the hidden sweet and tender moments. To the simplicity of the set in the apartment. Michael Baltzell the Scenic Designer did a job well done, and as did the team of carpenters and electricians who brought the New York streets to life.
The costumes, though simple. Could tell an entire story with them. Each one from the purple plaid coat, to the red checkered scarf at the very end. Every little detail made the show truly come to life. Noël Huntzinger added something to each costume, making them nod worthy the entire time.
Overall, this was a production you don't want to miss. If you are in the Boise area I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys the theatre. This production runs until the twenty-second of December.
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