BWW Reviews: THE K OF D at Seattle Rep

By: Jan. 21, 2011
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Seattle Repertory Theatre presents Laura Schellhardt's haunting fairy tale, "The K of D, an urban legend".  Effortlessly filled with melancholy and wonder, this one woman show is all at once creepy, funny, poignant and moving.

Set in small town Ohio, we meet a young girl who shares with us the chilling tale she remembers from her youth.  A tale about a friend of her's whose twin brother dies in a car accident and the fantastic events that follow surrounding the new power she develops over life and death.  But is this a memory or urban legend?  Is it about her friend or about her?  That's for you to decide.  But either way, Schellhardt and director Braden Abraham have woven together a chilling tale with an interesting twist.  The script and dialogue are quite fresh and tight with only one real structure issue I noted at the end of Act One where they left us hanging, but on the whole a nicely crafted script.

And all of the characters in this tale deftly performed by Renata Friedman.  Friedman has been with the script since a reading she did five years ago followed by her subsequent productions so she's quite familiar with the characters.  Owing to that, she manages to take these multitudes and imbue each of them with very focused and definite characterizations lending well to the story only being told by one person.  Throughout with a simple gesture, voice change or tilt of the head, you're sure of who is speaking and what their intentions are.  And never once do her characterizations become static or overly familiar.  Each of them has a life and arc of their own and each are quite engaging as they all burst forth from the body of this skinny young girl who is simply trying to tell us a story. 

Good storytellers are rare and the Rep has brought three of them (Schellhardt, Abraham and Friedman) together along with a stunning sound design from Matt Starritt, set design from Abraham and L.B. Morse and lighting design from Robert J. Aguilar to create a truly thrilling show.  There's really not much more to say about this without giving too much away.  So whether or not you're a believer in hitch hiking ghosts, alligators in the sewers or hook-handed killers, urban legends definitely manage their main task which is to entertain.  And "The K of D" is a welcome addition to that genre and one you'll want to add to that lexicon.

"The K of D, an urban legend" plays at the Seattle Rep through February 20th.  For tickets or information, contact the Seattle Rep box office at 206-443-2222 or visit them online at

Photo credit: Chris Bennion


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