Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

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

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


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.

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

From This Author - Deborah Bostock-Kelley

A twice-published author, multi-time award-winning playwright, magazine writer, theatre reviewer, and newspaper journalist with 30+ years in journalism and business copywriting, Deb was a 2019 Recipient... (read more about this author)

Previews: STEEL MAGNOLIAS at Powerstories TheatrePreviews: STEEL MAGNOLIAS at Powerstories Theatre
August 5, 2022

Steel Magnolias offers everything you want in a play, a transformative journey, a balance of laugh-out-loud comedy and emotional drama. Despite being set in the 80s, the play's message is timeless. Strong women can endure anything if they have friends to help them through the rough parts.

Previews: SHOWSTOPPERS at Straz CenterPreviews: SHOWSTOPPERS at Straz Center
July 29, 2022

Themed 'totally tubular,' the 80s and 90s musical revue, Showstoppers, debuting at Straz Center on August 5 and 6, highlights a time when Donkey Kong and PacMan ruled, cell phones were huge, and women's hair was even bigger. Showstoppers features 36 Patel Conservatory students ages 13-18 and behind-the-scenes, three college technical apprentice interns.

Previews: NUNSENSE: AMEN at Straz Center's Jaeb TheatrePreviews: NUNSENSE: AMEN at Straz Center's Jaeb Theatre
July 8, 2022

NUNSENSE: AMEN stars Matthew McGee as Mother Superior, JS McLaughlin as Sister Mary Hubert, Aaron Castle as Sister Mary Amnesia, Ryan Patrick McLaughlin as Sister Robert Anne, and Jaryn McCann as Sister Mary Leo.

Previews: DUTCHMAN  at American StagePreviews: DUTCHMAN at American Stage
July 5, 2022

'Dutchman' originally debuted during the Civil Rights movement, but, sadly, this Obie Award-winning play about race and identity continues to be highly relevant.

Previews: Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA at the Straz CenterPreviews: Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA at the Straz Center
June 20, 2022

After a three-week intensive program, students at Patel Conservatory are bringing the magic of Disney with a contemporary voice to the stage. Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (Broadway Version) takes center stage at Ferguson Hall on June 24 and 25 with a cast of 37 students, ages 13-18.