BWW Review: APPLE SEASON Takes Its Sweet Time to Harvest
APPLE SEASON/by E. M. Lewis/directed by Darin Anthony/Atwater Village Theatre/thru August 5, 2019
MOVING ARTS presents its Los Angeles premiere of E. M. Lewis' intriguing APPLE SEASON. Directed at a languid pace by Darin Anthony, the sparse explosive scenes really make their mark with the experienced acting chops of Rob Nagle and the vivid, versatile intensity of Liza Fernandez. This three-hander, as a part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, relates the unpleasant situation of siblings Lissie (Fernandez) and Roger Fogerty (Justin Huen) as they grapple with the death of their abusive Father from Hell. Nagle totally inhabits Willy, the neighboring farmer to the Fogerty's apple orchard; as well as, the former teammate and only high school friend of the sullen Roger. As he's done with the wide range of roles I've seen, Nagle packs this role of Billy with all the contrasting emotions of a three-dimensional person - this time, a thinking, doubting, insecure, moral citizen of the farmland. Huen's saddled with the introspective, older brother role of Roger, who possesses a slow burn in reactions and speaks minimally. Huen's most affecting scene has his Roger outwardly excited about his and Willy post-game celebratory congratulations. With the frequent flashbacks (out of chronological order), both Huen and Fernandez easily convince as their much younger selves. Fernandez' Lissie's luckily more expressive in her way of dealing with their father's demise. Fernandez easily handles the gamut of emotions, irrational to rational and back.
Kudos to the technical team of APPLE SEASON:
- scenic designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz for her detailed, monochromatic set of the Fogerty's orchard, featuring wood planks, slotted apple crates and apple trees, all bordered by jute netting. Only pops of color - small patches of green grass, and the many, many red, red apples hanging from the trees. Nice!