BWW Review: NOTE at Looking For Lilith Theatre Company
Review by Kate Barry
Sure, the classics and the standard favorites are fun but watching a new work gain footing for the first time is a thrill. Looking for Lilith's current production is a new work by local writer, Eli Keel, simply called Note. Intimate, honest, and real, the play explores mental health issues with integrity as we peer behind-the-scenes of a one-woman show.
Set in a rehearsal space, an actor named Charlotte, played by Meghan Logue, is cast to play Sarah. Based on an unseen third character, Sarah is a playwright affected by bipolar disorder and the subject of the autobiographical one-woman play within the play. When tragedy strikes, Sarah's sister, Jules, played by Shannon Woolley Allison, addresses and copes with unanswered questions and grief through an arduous rehearsal process. The script is rich with the representation of manic and depressive moods. Deeply emotional and courageous, Sarah's monologues shed light on the highs, lows, and in between without self-pity, angst, or self-indulgence. Instead, these beautifully vulnerable explanations give a fearless perspective on a misunderstood disease.
As Charlotte, Logue handles the responsibility of portraying Sarah with great care. Logue changes between Charlotte and Sarah with skill and clarity. From Charlotte's first moments in a pool of light during the audition sequence, Logue begins to build on the complexity of Sarah's fight with her depression and manic episodes. Her "moon creatures" speech is surreal, contrasting with her haunting and still "it's your fault" speech. Without a doubt, Logue proves her range in this role. Ke'Leb Z. Beauchamp adds flair and presence to Sarah's speeches by appearing as assorted therapists, parental figures, and personified figments of Sarah's struggle.
Taking charge as the director, Jules, Shannon Woolley Allison brings about a fierce and fully actualized performance. Fighting with grief and guilt, Jules is not to be messed with. Searching for answers and fueled by anger, loss, and stages of grief, Allison presents a character who is stricken with questions. In Jules, we see someone who struggles with missed opportunities, lost chances, and self- blame. Adama Abramson, as Sam the stage manager, provides emotional support for Jules. Abramson provides a pivotal moment as she exclaims, "you're still alive." Indeed, a reminder for all survivors. By the end, Jules finds the strength to carry on and protect her sister through art.
Eli Keel's Note is raw and unapologetic, a play that sticks with you and haunts long after leaving the theater. The story is hard to watch yet absolutely breathtaking. It is the kind of story that needs to be shared.
Featuring Meghan Logue, Shannon Woolley Allison, Adama Abramson, KeLeb Z. Beauchamp
May 31, June 1, 3, 7, 8 @ 7:30 pm, and June 9 @ 5:30 pm
Looking for Lilith Theatre Company
The Mex Theater at The Kentucky Center for the Arts
501 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202