BWW Review: Based on a True Story, BOND Opens at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City
"Bond, James Bond!" No, BOND the story of a soldier and his dog now playing at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City. Cynthia Levin directs one of the best dramas to appear in this performing arts season. BOND is thought-provoking and gut-wrenching with just enough humor to keep the viewer from needing a Zoloft. BOND plays at the Unicorn Theatre in collaboration with The Messner Puppet Theater through May 19.
This drama based on a true story will change what you think you know about post-traumatic stress disorder. At the end of the performance, it would be easier to count the number of dry eyes in the house rather than those shedding tears. This is truly a masterpiece of drama which should not be missed.
Logan Black wrote this insightful look at his life in the army with his explosive seeking trained dog, Diego. Black is magnificent and gives a powerful performance playing himself as he takes the audience from meeting Diego for the first time to when he tries to adopt the dog after his military service has ended. When asked how he is able to deal with reliving the story with each production he stated, "Every time I perform the show it is like I get to take a piece of the weight from my shoulders and give it to the audience." Black has appeared with The Coterie Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Actors Theatre and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival among others. He is the resident fight coordinator for The Unicorn Theatre.
BOND was first performed as a 40-minute show at the Kansas City Fringe Festival in 2015. He told me that the Jerome Stage at the Unicorn Theatre was the perfect place to premiere the full-length version of this remarkable play. The limited scenery designed by Kelli Harrod is exactly what the play needs, just enough to give the impression of war-torn Afghanistan, yet not enough to distract from the story itself.
Erika Lynnette Baker is the puppeteer masterfully bringing life to the puppet designed by Mike Horner. The work of Baker is beautiful to watch and so fluid that you almost forget Diego is a puppet. When apart from each other it is often hard to decide whether to watch Black or Diego.
BOND continues at The Unicorn Theatre through May 19. Purchase tickets online at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the box office at 816-531-0421.
Photos by Cynthia Levin