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BWW Review: IN A TORNADO'S DESTRUCTIVE PATH at Innovocative Theatre

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BWW Review: IN A TORNADO'S DESTRUCTIVE PATH at Innovocative Theatre

Nerve-racking.

That's the word that comes to mind when reviewing Innovocative Theatre's virtual production of Lauren Gunderson's Natural Shocks. Artfully directed by Staci Sabarsky, it is a powerful one-woman performance with the talent of Marie-Claude Tremblay as Angela, a woman hiding in the basement, unable to escape the destructive path of an oncoming tornado.

BWW Review: IN A TORNADO'S DESTRUCTIVE PATH at Innovocative TheatreThough I miss live theatre with a passion, the way it was filmed, almost like found footage reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield, this play worked exceptionally well on the big-screen TV. Marie-Claude spoke to the audience like she was recording on a cell phone. Occasionally her face would go extra close to the screen, a portion of her cut off, and then the camera scanned out to reveal her cramped surroundings, and she walked with the camera in first-person view. Kudos to whoever chose where the play was filmed. The sound effects and clutter of random storage items led to the authenticity that we were with Angela in the basement.

Wearing arguably the brightest silver eyeshadow I've ever seen (which worked well with her character), Marie-Claude shot out her lines like a machine gun, diving into her life as an insurance agent, telling bad jokes, sharing her love of dice, her love of numbers, and her fascination with Hamlet. She rambled about her complicated relationship with her mother, her unfulfilling marriage, and finally a terrible secret, and her preparation to do something she never thought she had the power to do. She's so congenial that she almost glosses over the more harrowing elements. Each new disclosure is countered with misinformation and misdirection, and we learn from Angela's own mouth that what she says isn't always the truth.

"Lying always makes things easier," she says.

Angela's revelation at the end of the 75 minutes is somewhat expected, but no less heartbreaking and disturbing. As this only had two virtual performances in July, I can only hope that once theatres are no longer dark, Staci and Marie-Claude bring Natural Shocks to the stage, so more can appreciate the exceptionally directed and acted disturbing production.


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From This Author Deborah Bostock-Kelley