BWW Review: DRY LAND Features a Pair of Fine Actresses Up a Creek

BWW Review: DRY LAND Features a Pair of Fine Actresses Up a Creek

DRY LAND/by Ruby Rae Spiegel/directed by Alana Dietze/Atwater Village Theatre/thru May 15, 2016

The Echo Theatre Company's west coast premiere of playwright Ruby Rae Spiegel's DRY LAND needs to come with an advisory warning. Those partial to the sight of profuse bleeding, as in an induced abortion, might think twice about seeing DRY LAND. This particular scene of a high school student finally successful in bringing on the abortion of her 13-week-old mistake contains graphic bleeding (fake but totally believable) and convulsions heightened by the most convincing screamings of Teagan Rose as the wayward teen Amy. Rose and Connor Kelly-Eiding portray high school swimming teammates. Amy's the cool, popular girl proudly wearing the BWW Review: DRY LAND Features a Pair of Fine Actresses Up a Creeklabel of 'slut' amongst her senior class. Kelly-Eiding's Ester the naive, insecure outsider trying to fit in. Smoothly directed by Alana Dietze, Rose and Kelly-Eiding both command the stage matching each other's realistic artistry word for snide or catty word as they maneuver their curious relationship they created for themselves. Is Ester sucking up to the cool girl Amy to fit in? Or is she secretly in love with Amy? Is Amy being nice to Ester just because she knows Ester will do anything for her? Would love to see these two in another theatrical piece less explicitly upsetting.

When we first met Amy and Ester, Spiegel sets them up in the locker room adjacent to their school swimming pool. (Kudos to Amanda Knehans for her clean, but messy enough set complemented by the echo-y gymnasium sound effects by Jeff Gardner.) Amy keeps ordering Ester to punch her in her stomach. Over and over, harder and harder. Takes quite a while before Amy's reasoning makes itself known (one of the many do-it-yourself methods Amy's read to cause abortion).

The other three of the cast give able support. Jenny Soo achieves a few laughs as the airhead swim teammate Reba. Ben Horwitz makes his mark as Victor, the strange son of Ester's mom's friend who offers Ester a place to crash for a college interview. Dan Hagen has an BWW Review: DRY LAND Features a Pair of Fine Actresses Up a Creekincredible long scene as Janitor in which he mops up the blood left behind the arrival of Amy's 13-week-old, a really long scene. The play ends with the introduction of more swimming teammates (with non-competitive swimmer body types or not resembling anything close to high school age) entering the locker room for some inexplicable reason.

www.EchoTheaterCompany.com

For a complete evening out of DINNER & SHOW, dine at Momed (atmomed.com) literally a few doors down from The Atwater Village Theatres. Click on DINNER & SHOW to check out BWW's Q&A with Momed's owner Alex Sarkissian.

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