BWW Review: WHITE BUFFALO at West Fargo High School Theater
West Fargo High School Theater Presents: White Buffalo
When I first read that I honestly did not know what to think. I had never heard of this play, and usually going into a show I at least have some idea of what to expect. This was not the case here.
I made the roughly 15-20 minute drive to WFHS Theater on a cold and sunny Sunday afternoon. (Super bowl Sunday to be exact!)
The first thing I will say is, if you have not seen a production of this show please find a theater somewhere that is putting this on. This show is very powerful and has some important messages. It's one of those shows where for some reason towards the end something seems to get stuck in your eye.
A brief description of this play: White Buffalo tells the story of the miracle birth of a white buffalo calf on a small farm in southern Wisconsin. When Carol Gelling discovers that one of the buffalo on her farm is born white in color, she thinks nothing of it than a curiosity. Soon, however, she learns that this is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.
Director Miles Barnum had a small, but talented, cast to work with (Roughly 13 on stage performers). Just reading the playbill I knew it would be good, as I recognized 3 of the leads right away. This was my first time seeing a show directed by Barnum and I was very impressed.
The 2 main characters, Carol Gelling and Abby Gelling played by Andie Peterson and Matia Martin respectively. They had the most stage time and their on stage chemistry was evident from the beginning with Andie playing the mother to Matia. These 2 young ladies were so talented and made the friction between mother and daughter very easy to believe. Andie and Matia were the stars of this production and I do hope to see them on stage together again soon.
The actor with the next most stage time was probably Alex Ngo who played John Two Rivers, the man who tells the Gellers about the prophecy. This was my first time seeing Alex perform and he did not disappoint. He played his part with just a hint of hesitation that made it very believable.
The final actor that I would consider a lead role was Ryan Schlepp as Mike Gelling. Mike is Carol's ex-husband who left 8 years ago (after the death of their 4 year old son) and just happens to show up around the time of the buffalo birth. Ryan played the character perfectly. He captured the essence of a man sorry for his past and wanting to reconnect with his family perfectly.
The main Supporting Lead to mention is Eric Tyulyandin who played Anderson Wilkes the man who wants to buy the white buffalo. Eric did a great job, and I wish he would have had a little more stage time.
Most of the local theater productions I attend are musicals, so it was a nice change of pace to see this play. WFHS Theater should be very proud. They put on a really enjoyable show and I only wish it was playing another weekend as I would definitely attend again.
Every time I attend a local production I have to keep reminding myself that these are high school kids. The Fargo-Moorhead community is so lucky with the talent we have and how well our community supports the arts.