BWW Review: EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Florida Repertory Theatre
EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Florida Repertory Theatre, directed by Eleanor Holdridge, is a beautiful show about mental health, love, loss, and what makes life brilliant.
The story follows the narrator as he reflects on his life from his childhood to the present day. He grew up with a mother who was depressed and suicidal, and so, he decided to write a list of everything he thinks is brilliant and worth living for in this world for her. Throughout his narration of the project, you get to hear and see his journey as he grows up and learns his own lessons about life and death.
Michael Satow plays the narrator in this production, and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. He showed so much genuine joy as he reflected on happy moments, or heard a number on his list of brilliant things that was funny, and you could also see the emotion he had when talking about the harder, sad moments. One-man shows can be a bit tricky as the actor has to hold the attention of the audience the whole show, and Satow more than did that. You could tell everyone was completely captivated by this story and his acting, and for good reason. It was, in a word, brilliant.
This is a very special show not just because of the storyline, but also because the audience is very involved in it. A few audience members get to play significant roles in the narrator's life, but almost everyone ends up with a card as well, which has a number on his list of brilliant things. As he performs, he calls out numbers and the audience members get to yell out what that brilliant thing is accordingly (I had number 7, but you'll have to see the show to find out what that is).
If you get the chance to see this show while it's playing at Florida Rep, I absolutely recommend you do so. You will laugh, cry, and everything in between as you witness a beautiful, heartbreaking, incredibly important story. Whether you yourself have struggled with mental health or you know someone who has, I think it's a very necessary topic, and this show handles it perfectly.
EVERY BRILLIANT THING is playing in Florida Rep's ArtStage Studio Theatre now through March 29. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7 PM, Friday-Saturday at 8 PM, with 2 PM matinees on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. To buy tickets, you can visit www.floridarep.org, call Florida Rep at 239-332-4488, or stop by the box office at 2268 Bay Street, Fort Myers, FL, 33901.
Photo Credit: Joe Dafeldecker