If you are familiar with the world renowned, New York theater scene, then it’s safe to say that you are also familiar with Broadway. This is just one avenue over from the NY’s theater row.
Many rush into the midtown area, in awe as they walk down midtown’s’ congested streets, dazzled by the many lights strewn about the theater marquee. Most underline a host of writers, actors and directors(overall creators), itching for their chance at stardom!
Well…Vanessa Verduga has made her presence known, adding her play, “Implications of Co-habitation” as a rich addition to the many great plays that came before! This polished play is a quaint but intimate look into one family’s life!
We begin with Nelson, (our main character or so we believe), a older man who, after returning from his late wife’s funeral, makes the hard decision to reconcile with his three adult children, but one of them is his estranged middle child – a child he had with another woman, (Carmen), who was not his wife.
We open the first scene with Nelson, who is sitting at the restaurant table, seeming to anxiously be waiting for someone to arrive. His two children, Jenny and Kevin sit across from him. Maduros Con Queso,” a well known Ecuadorian dish becomes a rather unwelcome piece offering whenever the conversion creeps into topics unsettle topics such as their deceased mother.
The stage is set in three parts. Off to the right is the set for a small and rather quaint cafe that depicts a warm, birsto type, restaurant scene. This feel is further accentuated by a lovely vase of flowers that sit in the center of the table. Beside that, resting center stage is the setting of someone’s home(or actually three character’s home as we learn later in the play). The living room set consisting of a white couch as various family portraits hang on the walls, and, off to the left is the setting for what seems the be a park, accentuated with, naturally, a park bench and some shrubbery. This gives the park set a big city, NY’s feel(seeming, in my eyes to illustrate central park.)
In some cases, various plays are hampered by poor scene placement and bad pacing, but not in this one. Implications of Co-habitation is brilliantly paced, as each scene moves seamlessly from one act to the next, including the emotional scenes, that are virtually uninterrupted in their transitions. In fact, some emotional scenes are so powerful that they are literally directed as if they are freeze framed, much like in a film, meaning the actors literally freeze their actions mid performance and stay in position as the scene they are in is dimmed and the stage set beside them is lit. The next scene continues on from the previous one without the emotional impact being interrupted. Other scenes changes are a bit simpler, like the moving of the vase of flowers off of the restaurant table or the switching of a picture frame or two from the wall of the living room set to indicate that we are transitioning from one home to the next.
My favorite character, by far is Jenny, an out of place rocker trying to find her way and a homeless gentleman, who, for just a dollar or a beer may impart some good advice. I like these characters the most because they are outside the box, each either grappling with or trying to find their place in the world. They are humorous and corky, but gives a fantastic balance to the heavy emotional content of the overall play. The humor is also played out extremely well, particularly with the ex boyfriend, Jake who has, I think, one of the most humorous scenes of the play. You’ll recognize it when you see it.
Also, the acting is superb. I, for one, could not help but relate with each and everyone of the characters on some level or another.
Each actor unflinchingly opens themselves up to us, allowing themselves to be vulnerable, sometimes in rather unexpected and pleasantly crazy ways. Vanessa’s performance as the middle child, Sara, was especially mind blowing. On the surface appears to be the most calm and grounded character, until we learn more about the character Vanessa is playing,(remember what I said about the Kleenex here)! I tell ya, this young talent can act!!!
Great job Vanessa! Way to go!
This is coupled with great dialogue. It is always fresh and very funny and the emotional scenes are powerful as each hits the heart like an arrow to a bulls eye and its quick wit, balanced out with real heart to heart moments provides an slew of memorable performances and scenes.
Simply put, this play is a true gem! And if you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?
The play is presented by Sudacas Theater. Tickets are sold @ The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street in Manhattan. To book just call them at this number or go to their online site @ http://sudacastheater.com/. Get your seat and check it out today!
Well, this is another fascinating blog from the Masmediastudios Camp. Jonathan signing out and until then, remember, MasMeansMore/The future is Now!